Breaking Free to Live Honestly

My talk yesterday revolved around how easy it is to drift into a duplicity that is destructive to our relationships. Easy to pretend we love others. Easy to smile and say words we don’t really mean. Even easy to serve - giving the appearance that our intentions are noble when what we really desire is to be noticed or appreciated. Living honestly with one another is more difficult. It means we stop the pretending and posing that defines so much of our 'spirituality'. Living honestly asks us to listen to one another...be honest about the stuff in our lives we’re not proud of…transparent with those parts ofour lives we wish were different…put our insecurities and expectations aside to ‘really’ accept one another…learn to forgive one another...and serve one another with sacrificial generosity.

Yet that's exactly what Jesus calls us to be as a community...!

How do we break free of all our deeply embedded habits to experience and express this kind of community?

  • I break free when I live in the truth. I stop pretending to myself, to others, and to God about what is truly taking place inside me
  • I break free when I choose to live the unique life God has given me. I no longer live the lie of someone else’s life or journey or expectations
  • I break free when I acknowledging my brokenness and vulnerabilities rather than trying to cover them over...that's where I rediscover God’s mercy and grace
  • I break free from when I name my need to attach myself to accomplishments, things, or people’s approval to feel okay about myself...and experience the gift of being Abba’s child
  • I break free when I no longer give permission to the generational patterns of my family and culture to negatively shape how I relate and live today
  • I break free when I reject any illusion that there is something richer or more rewarding, than the gift of being loving and being loved
  • I break free when I shed the layers of my “false self” so that my authentic self in Christ might emerge
  • I break free when I realize things are not as they appear - The idols in my life are smashed as the lie of what they promise is exposed - I find perspective on my life in Christ over and against success as defined by the world
  • I break free when I face my mortality - I keep the shortness of my earthly life as well as the reality of eternity before me each day
  • I break free when I abandon the selfish desires that consistently move me away from God to do my own will, not his

    (Adapted from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero, pp. 58-59)

Just this morning I had coffee with a longterm friend I hurt deeply years ago. I was unaware of the damage I had done until he had the courage to share the story with me a few weeks ago. While living honestly with one another can be hard at times - it's where we experience the healing and hope of the Gospel...where we discover that the power of the Gospel is not the words we share but the life we live.

Fighting for your hearts,

Gary