by Kendal Kelly
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Pic by Aleshyn Andrei
As a believer I feel that one of the biggest battles we can face in our faith walk is that of authenticity and transparency. It seems some of us are too afraid to show what is really going on in our lives. It is almost as if we take on a wrong mindset - that once we are a believer we are supposed to have it together all the time.
While the Bible is full of promises of favor and blessings that we inherit when we become a follower of Jesus, it also explains that in this life we will have troubles, but that we should take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. We are not excused from hard times, temptation or sin, but Jesus does promise His strength when times get hard, His grace when we drop the ball, His favor when it is undeserved and His promise to work out all things for our good when everything just seems to go wrong.
It can be frustrating when we look around at others’ lives, and especially when we look on social media where it appears as if everyone’s lives are perfect. We can think thoughts like “I’m the only one,” “the only one struggling,” “the only one with an issue.” If we continue to live masked and hidden we are only hurting ourselves. It can cause us to remain bound by our struggles, addictions and lies; it can lead to an absence of feeling fully known, seen and loved by those around us.
We can fear that if we show what is really going on inside or behind closed doors we will be humiliated, called out, judged, misunderstood, or rejected. However, hiding what is really going on with us and refusing to open up and let others into our past sins and current struggles can cause up to live defeated.
News flash - Jesus didn’t just die for the sins that we would commit before we received Him into our heart, but even the ones we KNOWINGLY would do AFTER. Luke 5:31 says "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Jesus is not shocked or offended when we mess up or fail, and He is most assuredly not intimidated or offended by our past.
I will never forget a powerful moment in my life when I was at Bible school and a man on the stage preaching was willing to open up about a sexual experience that he had when he was very young. He eventually told his dad who simply said that’s not you. The preacher talked about how he knew that had he not told someone that he would be filled with condemnation, and believe the lie that there was something wrong with him. He also very openly talked about his porn addiction as a teenager and his battle to stay away from it.
Later on I would hear another preacher talk about how she was abused as a child and how she felt shame and confusion in her sexuality. She also explained how she was able to walk through it and become whole again. I heard another pastor share that he was on his couch for six months with debilitating fear and depression. All of these people opened up and let others into their battles and found healing in Jesus. I was amazed by their vulnerability, it was so freeing to hear.
The truth is none of us is perfect and we all struggle. No matter what you think, you are not the only one. You name it, it has been done. Whatever you are facing, there is someone beside you who has come out on the other side ready to love you and walk you through it. What I'm not saying is go and tell your business to everyone, but find someone who cares for you and open up to them and allow them to help you through your struggles. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
When we open up to tell someone about what is really going on in our lives, we get to feel totally seen, known and loved. The lies and chains fall off and the things that once kept us down lose their hold. As we allow Jesus to do a deeper work of healing in us, we will be able to share our stories of overcoming with others too, and remind them that they are not the only one. Darkness cannot remain when the light comes in.