Disclaimer for this post: There is/was no anger or fresh personal experience that stimulated this blog post. Instead… I wrote this blog after noticing a series of deep relational issues that kept coming up in my pastoral marital ministry. Couples who were coming to me for counseling exhibiting issues and patterns of verbal / emotional conflict that had specific behaviors in common. It was from these experiences that I began to research the ‘root’ causes of some of this… this blog post was a response to what I felt impressed into my heart and mind. It rang true to me and my prayer would be for this post to help you understand yourself and others better. Marriage is all about seeing ‘past’ the shortcomings of others.
I detest fake people.
You know ones I’m talking about… folks who always have a plastered smile on their faces…, never dropping their guard or relaxing their emotional control. Always having a “fantastic‘ day or ‘gushing’ about how amazing their career is going, how accomplished their kids are… nothing negative, only awesome all the time!
Or… the maybe even worse…the fake people who rush to breathlessly confide in you. Whispering excitedly about the shortcomings of another in a somber tone of false concern, only to do the exact same bus-throw to you after you leave the room. Flitting from one conversation to another, always pointing out the problems of others, never offering to be a part of the solution, critical and duplicitous.
This is the wounded heart floundering through life. The insecure and insignificant soul reaching desperately to find purchase on the slippery edge of their existence, the ‘fake’ behaviors only symptoms of something much deeper.
Let’s be honest here, we all struggle with both sides of this. Sometimes we’re the victim… sometimes the offender, all of us affected daily by relationships with people who are struggling to find their purpose. People secretly afraid to admit their problems are real… hiding their shame in plain sight.
We’re all flawed, broken, and desperate for purpose and identity. We are longing to find the answers to the deepest issues of our existence, the reason we’re alive, the reason we matter.
The world is full of options and offers to pursue… knowledge, pleasure, possessions… honor. All of these can be valid to some degree, but what ties it to us? Where does our deepest identity spring from? Are we athletic, intelligent… beautiful, or spiritual? Do we allow ourselves to fail… or are we pushed to perfection in a wordless cry for value and significance?
Lots and lots of questions…
The Christian faith offers a simple consideration that can bring clarity and conviction to any life. An honest and enduring truth to build your entire existence around and on.
Jesus Christ is in fact both man and God. His life an ultimate illustration of what life can be for each of us. What life should be for each of us.
The loss of purpose and value, the soul robbing power of fear and uncertainty gone in an instant. If Christ is who he claimed to be… (the one and only path to God) then what he did and why should matter.
It means we’re valuable.
It means we matter.
It means we can stop being fake.
It means that who we are, the way we are… the unique and weak parts of us are all on purpose. They serve a function that’s essential and vital to our purpose as created ones. The things we hate about ourselves… our personalities, feelings, fears, and frustrations… our insecurities and stubbornness are all a mix of us… a uniquely complicated, but very intended individual.
The twist here… in our weakness, God reveals his strength. That means… ultimately we’re not going to measure up on our own. That means… we’re going to get it (marriage/parenting/relationships) wrong. We’re going to fail each other and flounder around and foolishly fall on our faces.
So what! We are only HUMAN! Not GOD! Cut yourself some slack… cut others some too.
Here’s the punchline… there is only space for one “God” in our life…. and it’s not us. Once that reality sinks in… we’re off the hook. No more ‘pretending’ to be something we’re really not. No more posers trying to convince ourselves and everyone else we’ve got things in our life under control.
What a relief that could be…
Peace out, Pastor B.