It’s okay, to be honest

What’s wrong with being weak? Weakness is definitely seen as a negative disposition in our culture, especially in the church. When people ask me how I’m doing I tell them the truth, at least I try to. However, the truthfulness of my answer honestly depends on how weak I feel like looking to the person asking the question. If some random person asks me how I’m doing rarely do I give them more than just a generic answer, “I’m doing good.” The people you walk by every day who ask you, “How are you doing?” for the most part are asking you because that’s the culturally polite thing to ask as you’re passing someone. I don’t have a problem lying to those people; besides strangers don’t really want to know how you’re doing, they just want to go about their lives the way things were before you two crossed paths.

My greater concern is the dishonesty that takes place with people that truly know us. If I could be honest, my natural reaction when asked about my feelings is to almost always respond positively even when things aren’t positive. I could be having a crapy day and my instincts are to put a little smile on and briefly tell you that all is well. For the most part, most people are either too busy in their own chaos that they don’t prod enough or care enough to dig underneath the surface of such a rushed answer that they walk away thinking they have just had a heart to heart encounter with you. This is superficiality at it’s finest. True fellowship in the body of Christ can never be built on the back of superficial encounters. If we are to truly understand one another and appreciate the fullness of one another then both weaknesses and strengths must be embraced. We must learn to love each other in times of extreme weakness and in times of abundant strength, without trying to fix that persons “problem.”

What is honesty anyway? My street level definition and how it crosses over into our relationships in the Body of Christ is, being able to look into the eyes of a friend and tell that person the rugged truth about your current emotional state, and in turn, the listener’s response is equal to the confession, Weep with those who weep and or rejoice with those who rejoice. In a word, honesty can be equated with vulnerability. If you have a difficult time being vulnerable with the people that you are spiritually connected to by faith in Christ then who can you truly be vulnerable with or to in the deepest sense of the word? Who can you pour out the fullness of your emotions too? Who will ever know the deep chaos of trouble you find yourself in at times? Who will ever dance with you in times of victory or cry with you in times of great loss?

Simply put, we need each other! Surface level relationships are easy to find. In fact, you don’t have to do much work to establish those kinds of “friendships” they just happen in the course of life. On the other hand, deep rooted, honest and vulnerable friendships are a God given gift that unfortunately is rare in and outside the church. In spite of the stream of thought on this issue, I don’t think shying away from vulnerability is the answer, because the alternative is plastic and unauthentic and for the pilgrim in need of others to help carry his burdens plastic and unauthentic is equal to spiritual suicide. Let today be another day that we trust God with the results and live out the motto, “It’s okay, to be honest.”

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