I was at work today, and beginning to see the fruits of honesty pay off. Have you ever felt that sense of comfort where you are finally getting in the pattern of being yourself without THINKING so much, and you realize that in honesty, you have a lot more room to give grace?
The lies trap us, even when we don’t realize we are doing it. Giving up worries about dating and realizing how much God loves me just as I am has changed things. I’ve got no sense of urgency. I listen more. I react out of what is already there. I’m more calm, and I enjoy my coworkers. Yeah, I’ve got nothing to prove, and its funny how that disregard is somehow a positive. I want a lot more for my family and my body than to use it to fill empty spaces and a sexual object in the hands of someone I could care less about. I don’t want love out of scarcity, but abundance. If I invest the rest of life in my faith alone, I’ve still got better than that today, so why would I settle? Christ is more helpful than a boy could ever be. I can afford to move on and pass over the need to fill my brain with frivolous thoughts of guys when I want so much more than a pretty face. I want someone who loves God, has a beautiful mind, and is kind. It isn’t enough to be able to fit into some warped idea of what I think I want, and I want more for my children than that.
It’s weird to feel no pressure to preface your words when you’re about to be raw in honesty, or even when you’re not. People have called me blunt since I was very small, and that always felt like they only wanted me to “tell it like it is” and “be sassy” in a token, commercial dinner party way. The truth is precious. Tact grows as we grow older, and I resent how people can see a gift like honesty and strangle it into an abomination like a tortured circus bear.
But no, I’m honest now, but I have more tact. I see my sin, I realize how far we all have to fall, I still judge, but sometimes I know when to hold my tongue when I don’t need to be speaking. When I’m not sure how someone would take a joke, or I want to befriend them in a different way, I zip it. I like the freedom. I resent that people who just didn’t notice the tact always emphasized how brazen I spoke, instead of realizing how much was consistently censored. I can’t believe we all judge one another so fiercely, and I am certainly guilty. If my peers would have had any idea what I was dealing with, I doubt they would have been insensitive, but so was I. We all treated each other terribly in school. It’s ridiculous, because we were all mostly living the same life in junior high and high school: frustrated, bored, and irritated by the world’s hypocrisy. We were ironically not exempt from that. It’s funny, but I have always been a lot less blunt with people who I didn’t see the necessity to speak to so straightforward. If you listen well, I can bear a little nuance. Maybe bluntless is just the desire to be heard in a sea of people who aren’t able to listen? Oh Lord, we all make mistakes.
Think of your closest friends and family. Do they all know you for the same things? People can put one another in these awkward caricature boxes of who we should be to have value, not even noticing all that God put there without our approval. It’s funny, but you can be more modest if you don’t need to be understood; did you know that? Attacking culture throws on on the fire. Only generously listening can put it out. Which is the very reason we should not dare subtract from the nuance in Christ. All are broken. Let us all remain so small and dependent on God’s good grace.
But do you notice how your friends can all love you, but respect different qualities? What do you do when they appreciate conflicting qualities? You hope you are more like the good thing, and fear but secretly identify with the other. You never know. Eventually when you get sick of it, you just are. And then you allow God to make the good parts clear. Not everyone is always gonna get it. Just do your best.
I will say though that if someone “cares” about you from a severely false idea of who you are, that is either because you wanted to, or they have a lot invested in putting false ideas of who you are on you. Which isnt good. Sometimes its in the middle; they wont stop but you think you need them in your life so you just let them believe that way. If you already feel weak, it’s hard to get out. But we can do all things through Christ. He can give you a new name, and he will ALWAYS take you back.
If it looks like I’m playing by some special rules, that’s because of grace. I’m lucky. Its not fair. That’s a given. I’m just doing the best I can. And God helps me, and he loves more than any of us could ever imagine. How else could he recieve devotion? No one can be like God.
I’m not trying to make up the extra space between me and God, just because I’m doing better doesn’t mean I don’t need him in my life. I don’t want to do this alone. He knows what he’s doing.
Why cant our faith make us bold enough to be honest? So many lovely friends that I only have seen truly one on one and so much more beautifully once they can be honest and not play into the hype. What if all Christians were just as honest in private as in public? And I don’t blame them because they are also insecure and living in a fallen world were we are all just doing our best. I see Christ in being boldly honest, though. I think we just need to believe in having the chance.
It’s gonna be okay, World. A lot of dead peoole in the news, blood over oppression, and fear. Jesus is coming back, World. It is gonna be okay.