Be Honest, Be Free

I know not everyone will agree, but:

I think the Christian world, more than anything, tends to push out honesty. It’s not your fault, really. We want to look like the tribe, affirm our position, embrace the language, conform to duty. No one wants crazy and it’s a “bad witness” to be messy, so we wear the angel face. And you might be accepted that way: but at the high cost of your soul.

For God’s sake, be honest. Be your slobbery gross vulnerable weak squishy self. Don’t have it all together to please some invisible moral bar. Dress how you want in church. Wear the black lipstick and the gauge earrings and the fedora hat. Don’t hide your tattoos. Don’t hide your scars. Say what’s on your mind. Say you’re not okay. Say you’re angry. Say you want change. Say the awkward truth, when it helps and when it hurts. Be so happy you can’t control your body. Not everyone will like it — but really, who cares? Who freaking cares? When did the Bible say “Care more about what others think than what God thinks”? Be honest. Be free. Do not let anyone crush you out of you. So long as you honor God with your honesty, it is the most dignified way to honor others. The you that God wants you to be is the you that you always wanted.


— J.S.

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6 thoughts on “Be Honest, Be Free

  1. I get what you are saying and I totally agree concerning the false conformity and hypocrisy of an angel image…but (you knew that was coming) is there an equal danger/caution on the flipside? The pendulum can swing the other way in reaction, which may be just as damaging, right? Is there danger in going from:

    I need to be perfect to…I need to flaunt my failures?
    I need to hide and suppress the “real” me to…I demand the right to be obnoxious and no one can say a word?
    I need to conform to…I need to stand out as much as possible?
    I need to act like everything is fine to…I need voice every concern, feeling and thought that passes through my cranium?
    I need to change to appease people to…I don’t have to change at all?
    I need to conform to Jesus to…Jesus loves me just the way I am (even if that means conformed to the world)?

    As I said, I totally get where you are coming from, but the question is how do we respond? Is there not just as much danger moving from one extreme to another?

    Which leads to what I believe the real problem is…and the real solution: our motives…and real heart change.

    Our motives and desires are the real problem, not covering or uncovering our tats yo! Our hearts long for approval or fear being found out or pursue keeping an image. But what if we began to attack the problem at the roots, the heart level and our response was asking God for pure motives and to change our wandering hearts and old habits, revealing sin and putting that to death? And then realize we can’t do this alone. What if we came out of hiding, not by showing everyone on the outside we don’t care what they think, but instead by getting honest with people we trust and asking them for help and confessing the real issues of our hearts and the patterns of our lives that need to change to be more like Jesus? Could that be a better starting place? Could that lead to the freedom we are really seeking?

    Thoughts?

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    1. I hear what you’re saying and I agree.

      Please hear this as a response out of humility. I am not trying to “win” or even counter, because your points are correct anyway. But: It is impossible in a single post to cover every angle or nuance of a particular feeling. In other words: if you were to read any one post as the entire thought on a matter, then it’s easy to say “What about this or this?” I commit the same fallacy all the time, and I’ve written on it here.

      Imagine if I had written a disclaimer for every sentence to fill in all the bases. That would dilute the writing. Most bloggers assume that if there isn’t a disclaimer in a post, then the source must believe the exact opposite of its claim, or at least be in “danger” of presuming a bad thought. Hence, all your pointed questions.

      Certainly some blogs are not thoughtful at all and only perpetuate hate, and we need to discern that stuff, but most blogs are written by people with many shades of opinions. To be very brutally blunt, and I say this because I’m still learning too: it is usually a sign of immaturity to read things this way. It is also condescending to ask a series of questions this way, because at no point in my mind did I think, “Yeah you got me now! That’s exactly what I meant!” I have to be the jerk to say that, because maybe no one else will tell you for fear of offending you, and if you do this kind of thing frequently, then even more so. If you’re angry about what I’m saying here, it’s not my job to convince you or cater to you. If you’re about to defend yourself in a billion different ways, you can maybe instead consider how and why you approached it this way. Otherwise, you’re just another not-humble-blogger who can do surgery on others and not yourself. I got love for you here, and I do think your points are valid. I don’t expect online words to change people on the spot, but I hope we’re both going to be different and learn from each other.

      I’ll point you to some posts where I do talk about the same thing you’re saying, about internal heart-change and a culture of honesty & grace. You don’t have to read them, but maybe they will flesh out some of your questions.

      https://jsparkblog.com/2013/10/15/grace-jesus-forgiveness-foundation-forward/
      https://jsparkblog.com/2013/06/11/manipulation-vs-maturity-5-tactics-to-avoid-and-3-to-consider/
      https://jsparkblog.com/2012/12/06/weapons-of-grace-part-1-grace-driven-effort-vs-a-guilt-driven-world/

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  2. “So long as you honor God with your honesty”. I’ve seen an awful (!) lot of behaviour claiming to be freeing which elevates the ‘behaver’, disrupts my worship (or whole life!) or turns community time into making a choice to agree or disagree with behaviour (or doctrine or whatever). God cannot be honoured with dishonesty. God cannot be honoured by “honesty” concealing ego-building or forcing others into a different kind of conformity. Sure, people at various places of growth in Christ will make different choices, but your choice, whether as a babe in Christ or an adult, that makes me look at you instead of Jesus does not honour God. Rescue me from those who are honest dishonorably! Grant me heavenly compassion for those who are honest honorably.
    Peace

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