Today I am joining in on the blog carnival that is happening over at Rediscovering the Church. Bloggers are joining together to write about the word “Remember.” I am always amazed at how God works things out in my life (I shouldn’t be but I am). I had NO clue as to what I was going to write about the word “remember” today. That was until two things happened this morning. First, I picked up the book that I am reading right now called “No Perfect People Allowed” by John Burke. The chapter that I read today was on creating a culture of authenticity. Shortly after this, I received a tweet from Mike Foster about the online mancave session that he was leading today on the subject of authenticity (if you are interested you can participate in it tonight at 6 pm here). He interviewed Ted Haggard on this subject. Authenticity is something that God has been teaching me over and over again the last several years BUT I needed to be reminded again of this powerful truth this morning.
Sadly, I lived most of my life pretending to be someone that I wasn’t. I pretended to have it all together when I didn’t. I pretended to be full of life when I wasn’t. I pretended to be joyful and happy when I was far from it. It wasn’t until God used some health issues in my life to get my attention that I realized that I was doing this. I had not only deceived those around me but I had deceived myself as well. What kept me from being authentic with those around me? FEAR! I was afraid that if people saw my weaknesses and failures that they would reject me, judge me or condemn me. I mean, I was a pastor. I was supposed to have it all together, be full of life and be joyful and happy all the time! Right? Sadly, that is what I believed.
I had to battle those lies in order to break free from the bondage they put me in. And believe me, it was bondage. As long as I believed the lies it stopped and hindered me from being the man that God wanted and created me to be. I had to accept that fact that God loved me no matter what – weaknesses, faults and failures included! This was very hard for me as I grew up in a very legalistic church that focused more on the wrath of God than the love of God. I grew up believing that if I messed up that God was going to get me! As a result of this I saw every “bad” thing that happened to me as God’s punishment to me for something that I had done wrong. Again, it was bondage.
Over the last two years I have grown tremendously in the area of authenticity. I have now accepted the truth about how God views me. This is where authenticity begins. It begins with knowing that God loves us NO MATTER WHAT! It begins with knowing that there is nothing that we can do that can make God loves us more or love us less. It begins with knowing that the only opinion that matters is God’s. Now, this does not mean that I don’t still struggle with the old thoughts that held me in bondage for years. Just this past week, I was really struggling with my old thoughts on my identity and how God viewed me. But thankfully today, God led me to remember the truth about His incredible love for me and I desperately needed that reminder!
What truth do you need to remember today?