Have you ever been asked a personal question that you feel if you answer honestly will reveal too much of who you are or who you have been in the past? Immediately, the FBI section of your brain starts to do a mental investigation of why they are asking… Do you really want to know the truth? Is this a set up, so you can have stuff to use against me? Will you judge me if you know certain things about my past or even my present? What’s the motive!!!? The Phycology section of your brain, wonders… Can you handle it if I am honest? Will you be able to accept that through Christ people change or at least are in the process of transformation and that what you see now, may not be who I am in a month? Could knowledge of my life be a stumbling block to your future, or will it help you to avoid the same monumental obstacles? Hmmmm… All of this goes on behind the scene when a simple personal question is asked. You see, it is a decision to let someone into your Private World… A world of beautiful mansions, gardens and glistening streets; a world where birds sing and the fragrance of joy is at the entrance… But it is also a world of city dumps and smelly sewers… A place that can reveal all of your refuse. It is said that if you really want to know a person, check their garbage. So true! It gives history, but because it’s stuff thrown away… it’s not necessarily present. Remember that! Question is, once you let people into your world, what will they do that could totally upset your world?
I’ve come to realize that not everyone can enter your private world without causing some damage and that’s why the assessment of the person requesting entry is so critical. A politically correct, well-polished and primmed up answer is sometimes the best in a given situation. Too much information in the hands of the judgmental, or critical or even the one who could overtly display disappointment is never healthy for one who intends to progress from any weakness or failure. Just give them enough to know that you’re a work in progress and the progress is constant and proficient.
In life however, everyone needs someone that they can allow to step into their private world… Someone who you can feel comfortable would never judge, criticize or display disappointment… Someone who you feel confident has your best interest at heart and is constantly seeking to redeem, restore and reconcile or at the very least allow you the space to get there. Someone who loves you enough to tell you the truth, but not beat you with it; who warns of impending danger, but doesn’t threaten.
It’s liberating to step out of the darkness of secrecy… To reveal the true you… the one that you live with every day. It’s liberating to testify… “Look what the Lord has done! He’s not finished, but wow, look at me now!” There must be someone in our lives for whom it is never TMI (Too much information). I may have been in the mud when I was expecting to be in the pure waters of the spring… The important thing is, I’m in the spring now… Can you stop looking at the mud pit and seeing me there?
The Church, the Body of Christ must evolve into the loving, patient, longsuffering and restorative Body that Christ intended it to be. A Body that restores Peter, after he has denied Christ. A Body that requests the company of John Mark, even though in the past he was not committed (Acts 15:36-38). Paul recognized John Mark’s transformation and voiced that he was now “profitable to the ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11). A Body so full of the love of Christ that every letter to the Churches was written to instruct and encourage to come up higher. There is no room for hiding, but what’s our recourse when the very people you expose your heart to, paints a picture of your failures or shortcomings and frames it for posterity.
With Christ, it’s never TMI! As the Body of Christ, left here to represent Him, it should never be TMI!
(Great book to read on the topic of self-righteousness: Misplaced Righteousness by Austin de Bourg.)