Honesty: Terrifying and Life-Giving

Some people are terrified of beauty. They don’t know how to hold it, nurture it, or wear it. Others are very uncomfortable with simplicity. They collect and hoard and stash. They layer and rearrange and gather. Still others fear closeness. Invade my space bubble and I will bite you.

I am scared of honesty and loneliness. What if you dump me when I tell you what I really think, feel, and am? Because today I told a friend that I’m done being single. A number of the past days have been engulfed in a haze like the fog that enshrouds Botetourt County on a humid summer morning. Don’t even warn me that I may be in this same classroom eleven years from now.

Enter Author of Truth. Jesus Christ. I have also found incredible freedom in honesty. Honesty with God makes me intensely grateful for Grace. Without grace, there are mornings when I couldn’t unbury these bones and face the drama. Pillows and eiderdown provide a much safer cocoon than forty degrees and a gusty chill.

Humankind has been hiding ever since Genesis 3. Alas. This fear of honesty is not a new fear. May I dare say, I’m not even alone in my fear. What will you say some day when you stand before Almighty God and realize with a flash that you lived your whole life a sham, a cover-up, pretending to be somebody you weren’t? Or trying to outdo all the Jones’. Trying to hide one talent and portray another. Friends help us incredibly in this onslaught of fears. I trust you have one such warrior beside you. One friend in particular has told me essentially, ‘Stop portraying the super-woman image.’ Thanks.

Now lest you beat someone up with brutal honesty, know, I am speaking of kind, refreshing, soul-cleansing honesty. We tend to assume others intuitively know our needs or desires. We may become miffed or even provoked when an ‘obvious’ need is completely missed, especially when missed by that particular person that we expected could meet it. What if in gracious humility we would acknowledge our needs and allow others to come alongside us and help us. What if we wouldn’t be so quick to pretend we don’t have any fears or need any help? Danny Silk talks more about this in his book Keep Your Love On!

Almost every Bible has a blank page or two at the beginning or end-great spaces to jot down life-anchors; this is one of mine, Freedom: Nothing to prove, Nothing to fear, Nothing to lose.

What if facing your fears is one of the most life-giving steps you could take? What if a terrifying risk is the leap into glorious freedom! Jesus talked about it in John 12 with the example of a corn seed dying down in the dark dirt: the way terrifying death births life, loneliness bears fruit, serving Him extracts the Father’s honor.

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