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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fake it until you make it? REALLY?

**Warning-It's my blog and I'll write what I want to.

Psalm 51:6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; {6 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.} you teach {6 Or you desired...; you taught} me wisdom in the inmost place.

Why in the world are we (especially as Christians) so worried about our image or how we appear to others (I am not talking about our witness. I am speaking of image building...wanting others to think something of us that is not true)? I get so tired of the fake it until you make it approach to life. I am not saying that we are to open up and tell total strangers our deepest struggles and every past sin so let me make myself clear. I just think as Christians we would all be a little more free if we dropped our defenses and our pride and made our struggles a little more known to those around us. We could also use a dose of praising God for where He has brought us from so others that are weary can hear that they can make it out of the hole that maybe they dug for themselves. I hear all of these phrases when people are describing "themselves" like I am a wife, and mother...my kids are near perfect...my husband is the next best thing to Jesus he is so dreamy...I keep my house perfectly clean...I iron all the clothes...and I have a hot meal on the table at 5pm. If that describes you...I am so happy for you but that is just not my life. There are times when I wonder...man is this life going to get better? Am I ever going to have victory in this area? Will my marriage ever get better? Am I a good mother? Is my heart pure before God? Will I ever get over this unforgiveness or this envy? Is anyone struggling financially? Will I ever feel God's forgiveness over this past sin? There is a person in my life that cares all about form and nothing about function to the point that it makes me want to puke my guts out to put it lightly. Hey ask me about my favorite team or sport and I will tell you anything you need to know...but let's not get past the surface...why that would mean work. It would mean being real which is something I am just not willing to do. I think that is the attitude of a large percent of Americans...just keep the topic to manicures and pedicure only please...all the while I am dying on the inside. It reminds me of when Jesus spoke to the Pharisee's in Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.
28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."

I think that this is the goal that many of us are striving for to appear that we have it together when in fact we are full of sin, struggling, and maybe even wigging out in a stronghold. We want others to think that we are rolling with the big dogs, that our wallets are fat, our marriages are perfect, and all the while we are white washed tombs on the outside, our foundations that we have been building on are nothing but sinking sand and inside there is no life in us just dry bones. Don't you think a lot of it has to do with us not focusing on Christ because if we truly did we would see that we are all made of clay? That we all fall short? That we all need help...real help from a real Savior? The whole comparison thing reminds me of this verse: 2 Corinthians 10:12 "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise."

All I am saying is that we all have room to grow, room for improvement. None of us have arrived and where God has delivered us let's please try to pass it on to those who are desperate to know that they can be delivered to. When we begin to delve into just how much we have been forgiven we are going to want others to be reached with the same forgiveness and mercy that has been given to us.

More importantly we need to be honest first with God. He knows even why we feel the way we do...why we are struggling like we are. He created us. He is our maker. I have been giving a lot of thought to prayer and one thing I keep thinking of is how prayer is really honesty, authenticity before God. Showing God our true colors and not hiding behind a mask. Don't you think if we do that and His forgiveness washes over you and me that we will be more free to be able to reach others. Don't you ever feel like looking at someone and telling them to Get Real?!? So here me say it as I say it to myself: GET REAL!

I love this verse in Lamentations 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at the head of every street. I don't want to take this verse out of context but I will say that we would all be wise to apply it. Part of the reason why we don't get past our junk is because we aren't being honest before a Holy God who made the way for us to come boldly to His throne to find grace and help in time of need. You don't have to agree with me and you can just stay to yourself but I love that Jesus told Peter this verse after Satan had asked permission to sift him like wheat: Luke 22
32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Jesus knew Peter's heart and He knew that He would turn back...and He told him "when you have turned back" not "if" but "when" strengthen your brothers. I guess if you have not ever blown it in a BIG way (which all sin causes us to miss the mark if you want to get picky) then you can't understand being forgiven in a BIG way. When you start to get the fact that God forgave you for denying Him, by your actions or witness, you will want to turn to others and strengthen them to stay true and strengthen them with the mercy that you have received.

22 comments:

IBelieveInHugs said...

I agree with you. I long for the real, the genuine. One question that comes to mind, though, is ... Do people want to hear it? Well, honestly, I believe there are ones who care and who ask "How are you?" with sincerity rather than as an extension of "hi" ... as in "Hihowareyou," spoken, not asked, in passing. May God bring forth more people like you.

jennyhope said...

ibelieveinhugs,

I thought the same thing. that you said here. I know the times that God brings the people around us that are desperate to know that they can make it and we just pass on by. i am so guilty. :) I love what you said here because i just thought the same things.

Tam said...

jenny is smokin! and right on! i agree...and all the while reading it thinking to myself, "people were prob puking reading mine and my mans blogs this week about our anniv. and love for each other" but really, who cares! because the one thing we have is each other...and right now we're strong and our fam is tightly knitted . trust me, things are falling apart around us. you mentioned finances in this post and i had an anxiety attack! tough times here girl - very tough! i struggle with fearing i will fail at anything i try! its a stronghold.

i love this post. i love your strong words here. i read each word hearing conviction in each letter you typed out...

i'm with you...

Fran said...

Oh girl!! I couldn't agree more!!
I think as I am getting older I realize the NEED for being real. I tried for so many years to be someone I wasn't....to be that person who seemed to have it all together, looked all together, involved in all the stuff, always with a smile and able to do whatever, whenever.....

Well....i found Jesus and my life has never been the same. BUT, the struggle to please others and worry about what others think and try to keep up with the Jones' (no offense anyone!) and not be honest and real can drive you crazy!!!

A few years ago I had my tonsils out and during that horrible recovery and time of complete bedrest and could not speak....God did a HUGE number on me. He told me that if I wouldn't slow down and start focusing on Him and what really matters, that He would slow me down and teach me a few things. And boy did He!! Being in bed and can't speak! That only give you ALOT of time to listen!!

I listened and learned and it was the most amazing weeks. He told me many things but one thing was exactly what you are talking about. Slow down and leave that fake stuff behind...its not you and its not who I want you to be.

Lets be the real deal girls!! Let Jesus shine through. For it is His mercy and grace that we are forgiven and loved anyway!

GREAT POST JEN!
Blessings...

Darla said...

Preach it sista!!
i am so with you, "being real"...my hubs is not dreamy like Jesus, and my kids are kids! i have one who I can see jesus in, and the other two always keep me guessing, and hard at prayer! I am alone alot, and draw on my Jesus to fill my emptiness. I have low tolerance for fake christians, and God is working on me in that area to love them anyway..b/c i really don't want to. HE will win this one, but I am praying for a huge change in my heart.
Keep it real, it is the best place to be...and I have been asking my children "Is it more important what others say about you, or more important what God says about you?" I have to question myself too...although I am scared of the fact that God said HE opposes the proud! Praying to not be prideful, and to indentify it and turn from it.

Love you Jennyhope!! wish you were coming to RI this weekend! I will try to get more pics of siestas and get them posted. Princess to Princess!

Ang baylis said...

GET REAL, Angie!

Thanks for sharing this... especially this morning! If you read the post I just published, you will realize it was no accident that I stopped by to visit you just now! Ouch!

Thanks for being real! I LOVE your blog!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Little Steps Of Faith said...

Jenny,
that was absolutely beautiful.
I mean that was a really valuable post:-)
Its so awesome how once we lose ourselves, it is when we are real:-)

I am right with you on not be close to perfect, praise God, and I am glad you shared your heart on how it makes you feel.

How will people be real with God, if they can't even be real with others, and themselves?

God showed me that prayer is such a responsibility, and once He sees that we are praying, He actually brings us more to take to our knees...I am so amazed:)

God is SO real, and I am SO Glad to be his girl, wouldn't you say the same siesta:)

Have a great day:)

Angelina Bumbellina:-)

connorcolesmom said...

Jenny,
Oh girl I use to be the one that would have the big smile on my face and pretend everything was ok. That was in college all the while I was dating an abusive boyfriend (physical, emotional and verbal abuse). I finally realized I needed to be honest and let people help me. I still struggled with the "appearance" issue until God showed me that until I became vulnerable and humble He could not use me. It is to His glory that we reveal how much He has helped us overcome and become victorious in Him!!
Thank you for this post! It was awesome!!
BTW: Cole started preschool today I will have pictures and a post soon :)
Love ya,
Kim

Anonymous said...

I have been visiting your site off and on when I get a chance and what you said really spoke to me. I have been battling being selfish; it's something that seems to rear it's ugly head every time I give it a chance. I try to fight it, but then I get duped into believing again that if I am totally selflesss, there will be nothing left. And yet, when I finally surrender my all (daily) to the Lord, I find that there is peace and love and enough of everything to get me through.

I feel like I am all alone in this because the everyone seems to say, "Your deserve this or that. You don't have to give that up too." I find that God's arms are the only place I can find true love and "enough."

Thank you for being so honest. We do try to seem to have it all together when inside we are fighting and struggling.

Thanks for all you share.
Tonya

pinkmommy said...

I completely agree. I strive to be as real as possible without losing all my privacy.

Gods Gal said...

Awesomeness sista! I get so tired as well of all the mamby pamby "stuff" that goes on in public.....ick....I'm so much better with people who can just state things openly and honestly (in love of course) and move on. We don't have a lot of time to side step, I really appreciate your blog and you!!!! We seem to have the same personality types!!!! You go girl!

Tam said...

ya know, after i sent that I thought (as i hit the publish button) i hope she doesn't think i was referring directly to her. I know you weren't - totally! But it got me thinking - i don't want to ever be perceived as perfect, marriage or anything else.

trust me, your comments about our anniversary touched us more than anything girl!

I have tons of admiration and respect for you - i think you are an amazing woman of God - you challenge and inspire me and get me thinking - that's exactly what this post did - so thank you!

Heather said...

OH girl ... Bring on the realness!!! I long for that in others and myself. I think only when we are real can real deep relationships begin and only when we are honest can real life change begin.

I say if they don't like me ... their loss! :) However, I wasn't always this way. I think it wasn't until I realized who I truely am in Christ that I drop the mask and allowed others in. I think once we as christians realize that we are loved to the core no matter what ... then being real/open/honest is natural.

Suzanne B said...

EXCELLENT!!! You are right on as always.

~Robyn~ said...

I love this. It is so true. I struggle so hard everyday, and I only want people to see what I do right, or what is right in my life. So, when somehting else seeps out, they make comments about "I thought you were a Christian!" Um, yeah, Christians aren't perfect! We have as many trials if not more than the unbeliever! YOu are right, maybe we need to show this more.

Faith said...

AMEN, Sistah!! Love this post! So true.

Btw, stop by my blog when you have a minute; I have a surprise for you. :)

Teri said...

I am right there with you girl! Authenticity is paramount to advancing the Kingdom of God. No sinner wants to hear about how perfect the life of a believer is. Because to them it is unattainable. Because NOBODY IS PERFECT. If we could care less about what people think and more about what people are going through, we would be more effective in reaching a dying world. So many of us are too stuck on idolizing ourselves, we can't see beyond our own circumstances toward the one's who will face certain death.

This is a soapbox I will gladly join you on siesta!

Shelly said...

Uhm...I don't know what to say, but amen and I love your heart. And I'm honored that I get to be your friend. For real...it is such a blessing.

Joining you in the de-masking :)

Love you sister

Emmy : ) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emmy : ) said...

I LOVED THIS POST! I had to erase my comment from last night because I really have so much to say about this one and I had just gotten home from the ER with my son who was injured in football practice...so I was kind of grouchy and this is kind of my soapbox...so I was worried (hopefully not b/c of image) that some people could have taken it wrong...and maybe my heart was not in the right place when I wrote it...I have been hurt by some "church people" in my time and I too wish we could all be REAL! None of us have it together! ***if you do...don't come sit next to me! : ) JK*** I agree with you there are so many times I am like "JESUS HURRY UP AND COME!!!!"
Thanks for sharing your heart! I LOVE how real you are! Your transparency is awesome! Emmy : )

Jackie said...

Preach it siesta...
your words are strong, but straight on. Thanks for your honesty and transparency...the world needs a little more of you!!
Hope your day is great. Keep on blogging the truth- we LOVE it.

kittyhox said...

I think real is always a better witness to nonbelievers and a better encouragement to other believers.

Fake is meaningless. It isn't helpful. It bugs me, too!

Yes, I'm happy and love my life. That's not fake. But I still struggle and am so flawed I wouldn't even know where to begin.