Welcoming Honesty

 
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Many of us can agree that one of the most intimate moments we’ve had with the Lord was the day we first received Him into our hearts. Hidden secrets are shared and weaknesses are confessed to our Abba as we’re held in His loving and merciful arms. However, as we continue to walk in His ways, we can sometimes lose our way. We begin to equate intimacy with greater performance and leave vulnerability behind, when honesty and vulnerability is the very thing that propels us closer to Him.

Honesty is Not to be Feared

As I genuinely longed to be known fully by God, I would also fear it. How would God respond if He knew how much doubt I had? How would he react to my lack of character? It was easier to lie to myself and avoid God than to be vulnerable about how I actually felt. Somewhere in my heart,I deeply believed that God only loved me when I was at my best and if I were to stray away from who I thought was my best self, then surely God would be disappointed in me. Certainly, he wouldn’t want this kind of person. I feared rejection, disappointment, and even consequences from Him. So, I served more, sang louder, and prayed harder because I couldn’t show God who I really was.

However, one of my greatest breakthroughs came in the form of a confession. It was a confession that consisted of a long list of disappointments and doubts I had towards God. I was so afraid and ashamed to tell my perfect God that I had something against Him. However, in the moments when I thought I would be rejected, I was given a seal of approval. Why? Because God was not impressed by my performance. Rather, he was moved by my vulnerability. God desires honesty because it calls for vulnerability. And where there is vulnerability, there is an open heart. He loves those who are faint in heart and those who are weak because He then becomes the rock in which they must rely on.

Many of us mistake vulnerability in our relationship with God to be a one-time thing when we receive salvation. However, vulnerability actually needs to be constantly cultivated in our walks with Him. It keeps our hearts tender before God so we may be easily moved and wooed by His love. We practice vulnerability and honesty with God not only through the confession of our sins, but also through the confessions of our thoughts and emotions. Surely the Lord knows all that we know and all that we feel, but we must practice admitting these things before His presence daily.

Honesty is an Invitation for Embrace

When we expose ourselves to God, we open ourselves to the loving embrace of God. We cannot know how to be confident in the reality of God’s love and the freedom in honesty, until we put ourselves into a posture that allows us to experience those very truths. Just as the prodigal son would not have understood the weight of his father’s love until he mustered up the courage to present himself in the state he was in. We, too, are invited to offer ourselves to God, not to discover wrath and disappointment, but abounding love. In other words, until we learn to present to God every thought, doubt, and emotion within us, we will never know the power and extent of His love for us. Every time we admit, confess, and open our hearts to Him, we invite God to meet us in those things. We send invitations to our Heavenly Father to which we discover that he will gladly receive and gently respond.

Honesty is an Opportunity for Healing

Through a posture of vulnerability and honesty, I’ve received a great freedom from performance. Growing up a middle child, I sought recognition from my parents by being the best at everything. I needed to prove to my parents and, later on, others that I was worth something through talent, popularity, and success. For many of us, we buy into the lie that states “we only matter if..” So we strive to prove ourselves to others, earn the approval of leaders, and seek to even prove ourselves to ourselves. But, when honesty and vulnerability before God comes into this picture, there is no need to prove ourselves because we are confident in His love for us. We’ve come to him in all that we are and have found acceptance.  

The more we come to Him in honesty, the more we will be met with the Living God. In the Kingdom of God, honesty lures the presence of God. Where there is His presence, there is love. This is why I believe the Psalmists had such powerful encounters with His presence. As they shamelessly confessed their fears and doubts, and presented themselves fully to God, they were met with God and the prayers shifted. They presented mourning, and received dancing. They were exposed in their heart, but filled with the overflow of His grace and mercy. They unmasked their reality to receive a heavenly reality- love.

His love is faithful to us in every season and in every unraveling of the heart. Through every discovery of ourselves, good and bad, He proves that his love is trustworthy and dependable. Therefore, we have nothing to hide. We can believe that all our deepest thoughts and flaws are seen, identified, and known, so accepted and loved. Thus, catapulting us to freedom from others and their opinions.

 

Eugin Jung (@eugin_jung) received her B.A in Christian Ministry at Biola University and is currently pursuing her Master of Divinity at Talbot School of Theology. She is currently a Junior High Pastor at Dong Shin Presbyterian Church.

 
 
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