Oh my! God has really been doing a number on me lately, digging out some roots and looking into the corners and flushing out things that shouldn't be. Do you want to know what one area He is working in my life? Being completely and whole heartily genuine. Not just with others, but more with myself!
I am one of those who really doesn't like "Negative Nancy's" in her life, though we all have some. In fact, I probably rub many people the wrong way because I am more of a "Positive Polly" kind of gal. In the last few years I have recaptured the meaning of having a child like faith. I have drawn closer to God for WHO He is, knowing that He could wipe me out in an instant if He wanted to. And I know the things I face and struggle with are minimal compared to many out there. But I am a real person. I get hurt feelings. I get stressed. I freak out sometimes, but ... it's okay! Do you know why? I can't fake who I am not. I can't be someone I am not. I can't hide who I am either. Sure, I can try to hide it from you, from anyone, but I can't hide it from myself. Oh sure ~ I could even try to hide it from myself but do you want to know something. It will come and smack me in the face out of no where if I do!
If I share something personal with someone that I am talking to it is because I trust them, I feel safe. But when I later get told that "no you shouldn't say that" you have lost my trust and security. I have learned that sometimes we go through things not only for ourselves, but to share the journey with others who may be struggling just the same but are either timid or afraid to share their heart too. It is indeed called being genuine. Being real. In fact, being HUMAN! Jesus was genuine. Jesus was real. Jesus, was too HUMAN! When Jesus would share and be genuine with people, and he got rejected did he change for them? No. Did he just say "oh, what I feel and want to share must not be important"? No. He knew that He would be rejected. Sadly, we sometimes have to feel that rejection in our lives too. It doesn't mean we shouldn't be genuine out of fear of rejection. We shouldn't fear those who reject us either but instead maybe guard ourselves instead.
If you are ever rejected for being genuine, don't withdraw away from those who have already accepted you for who you are; flaws and all. If you are accepted it is not because you fit into their mold ~ but instead they accept YOUR mold. I can tell when someone is fake. They may say one thing about their life but inside they are hurt, angry, bitter, and their home life and what goes on behind closed doors is their reality and one way or another that gets exposed. Whether it be the way they interact with their children, the person checking them out in a store, a sales person, or a complete stranger. I have seen people be so nice in public but as soon as they get in their car/homes they are raging lunatics! I refuse to be like that. I am me. If I am having one of those days where I want to socially withdraw from everyone ... I do that. If I am bouncing off the walls ~ everyone knows it! If I am in the mood to be a social butterfly, I will be. But no matter what I am learning to be as genuine with people as I can possibly be.
And, because God is so genuine himself I have to share this word I found in His Word with you!
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 1 Peter 1:6-8
So, I challenge you this week ( as well as myself) to allow yourself to be proven genuine with the people around you ~ both privately and publicly. It's okay to share your struggles with each other, don't ever fear of sounding needy and hurting. God will provide the right person to come along and help and listen. In fact, the more you are genuine with people, the more they too will be genuine with you!