Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Total Transparency

Faithful are the wounds of a friend Proverbs 27:6

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness 1 John 2:9

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:14,15

If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20

Many of us have gone through the most painful situations where we have been wronged by fellow believers. What the other party did was unthinkable and unbecoming of a Christian. You feel hurt, wronged, angry (that they could do such a thing) and even sorry for yourself. You begin to ask yourself questions, questions you feel justified to ask, such as “why me?” You consider yourself to be a good friend and brother/sister to the body, so it can't be any fault of your own that this thing has happened. The fact it is not your fault may be completely true. So it's a good thing you have your inner circle of friends/family to support you at this time to share your feelings, right? WRONG!Light begins to shine within, just as the sun rises at dawn, the light gently creeps over the earth, and what you see horrifies you!

Ok, you're nursing raw wounds as you try to put things right. You want to glorify God. You feel you're doing all the right things when suddenly even your friends and loved ones seem to be against you. For completely different reasons they are not being themselves. They highlight things about you that are just not true. This may be in the form of an argument with one and reproof off another. Great! Just when I need them the most. You can feel yourself becoming more and more isolated from people in general as if you have no one left to turn to. Suddenly you feel a revived sense of longing to be with God in prayer. Time with Him is bliss until you see what God shows you in the most gentle and loving way in which only God can do.......light begins to shine within, just as the sun rises at dawn, the light gently creeps over the earth, and what you see horrifies you! “I'm telling my daddy of you!”

Suddenly, being in God's presence is not about seeking communion but forgiveness and repentance. You cannot believe how long you have been walking around completely unaware of the many sins hiding in the darkness of yourself. “Oh!” You cry, “I feel such a fool!” Those reproofs and painful words from the ones you dearly love begin to make sense. They were like signposts pointing the way to that which was true about yourself only pride would not acknowledge them. Instead the hard, unyielding self stood up for itself and like a child said, “I'm telling my daddy of you!” Only as you went to The Father you found yourself being lovingly and tenderly corrected. You see now that you are totally and utterly powerless to change yourself. You beg God to cleanse and change you.

After confession and repentance, making the point of now keeping daily accounts with God, the stiff-necked proud I know bows the head in humility and embraces loved ones with a grateful heart. You realise that they have done you the greatest favour a friend could ever do. To be known as we really are-that is true fellowship!

The importance of being transparent with others cannot be underestimated. C.H.Spurgeon in one of his sermons defines it as “The willingness to know and be known”. To have at least one friend we can trust to be honest in the must loving way with us and us with them, is infinitely priceless. To be known as we really are -that is the true fellowship!

Going back to the original offence where you felt innocent, you now see that you had been all this time justifying self. You were unaware of it but you became just like the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14. Ok, so you may have been wronged but when you cry out to all who are willing to listen the wronged been done to you and justifying yourself by admitting you seek reconciliation is nothing other than sin. You can be seeking reconciliation yet without acknowledging the massive beam of wood in your own eye. Suddenly, after seeing the huge beam in your eye that speck in your brother's eye doesn't seem as big as you thought it was! Now you can work on overcoming the sins in your own life as well as being reconciled with your brother. No longer will you feel the need to justify yourself. You will approach the whole matter no more proud and stiff-necked but with head bowed in humility. That way, even when the other person denies doing you any wrong you can still walk in forgiveness praying for and blessing them, hoping that in time the Holy Spirit will shine light in their hearts. Certainly God will be most glorified this way!

2 comments:

WhiteStone said...

Ouch! True! Ouch! Ouch! Thank you! (wry smile)

Jennifer said...

Geraldine has returned!!! (And it was worth the wait.)