September 29, 2012

Stop Pretending

Recently my dear friend and mentor, Mindy, insisted I read a book that easily fell into the "life changing" category of her book collection. In fact, she even bought and sent me a copy herself. Well, I'm only three chapters in, but I already understand why "Anything" by Jennie Allen resonated with her. It is certainly resonating with me.
"Freedom isn't found in rebelling or pretending."
I know that thought probably doesn't seem too profound, but it got me thinking about a point in a conversation I was having with Mindy and her husband when I confessed that I had been feeling like I'd rather be who I was before I became a Christian than who I've become as a Christian. Before I started to actively pursue Christ, I was caught up in all sorts of rebellion, but my desire for freedom brought me before Christ in a raw way. After reading, re-reading, and reflecting tonight, I realized who I'd really rather be is not who I was before I "became a Christian" but who I was as I was coming to Christ. I was real and raw before Him. But over the past five years, I began pretending more and more. I've pretended to believe things I don't believe in fear that others would question my salvation, and I've pretended to not believe things I do believe. I've pretended I didn't feel this feeling or that in fear that I'd appear this way or that. I've pretended to not have certain desires in fear that my relationship with God wouldn't be taken seriously. Little did I know, all this pretending for others caused me to pretend before God, leaving me paralyzed from truly understanding His grace. This freedom in Christ that everyone talks about, I can't say I fully understand what that's like, at least not right now, but I know His word is true when it says,
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." -Galatians 5:1
I fear I am a slave to other people's opinions, a slave to myself, and a slave to my sin. But,
"God is reaching out to us, wanting us to see we need him. But since he is God, we think he wants some song and dance from us-in other words, behavior modification. He actually just wants us. He longs to set us free. And yes, to accomplish all that, he wants us entirely."
Here's to entirety.

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