I’ve been getting bombarded with a similar message these last couple of weeks. It’s like a bunch of people conspired to gang up on me and are undertaking a well planned barrage. They are strategically hitting me with essentially the same message. They have spaced their attacks at perfect intervals. If I get comfortable with the message fading away, suddenly another round is launched. Podcasts, books, sermons, posts on social media, etc. Pick a method of delivery. It is being used.
“How are you thinking about yourself?”
Here are a few keys thoughts I wrote down:
-Society pushes us away from thinking about ourselves.
-We are called to understand what God wants us to be. This means spending intentional time focused on ‘self’.
-Am I being honest with myself? Do I honestly believe I can create the life I want? What limiting beliefs am I holding?
I’m currently using Kyle Idleman’s devotional, “40 Days To Lasting Change – An AHA Challenge”, and he has been hitting me hard with the word “Honesty”. He talks about confession and truth and being open to others with our struggles.
From page 109, this quote hits home hard:
“Voluntary confession is when we regularly and voluntarily acknowledge our sin and honestly admit our weaknesses to someone in our lives.”
Three words continue to hit me: REGULARLY. VOLUNTARILY. HONESTLY.
Honesty. Honesty. Honesty.
Brutal honesty is the concept I continue to hear from multiple sources. Honesty leads to healing. Honesty brings improvement. Honesty is important to advancing toward our dream. Honesty is important to realizing the calling God has for my life.
I sent out this tweet recently:
“God wants us to look at the simple. We don’t need the huge gesture or epic adventure. If he tells you to do something simple, simply do it.”
I believe this is where many of us get stuck, me included.
We see the big gestures and the epic adventures of others. We are pulled in by the incredible actions. We desire to make those big gestures and epic adventures part of our lives too. We want to show our friends and followers the incredible things we do for God.
And that is a problem.
We too often ignore the simple.
If we are brutally honest about what God is asking us, we must acknowledge how often we ignore, or don’t listen for, the simple requests. We often think we are called to the grand and glorious! We often misinterpret what He is telling us, and requesting of us.
We don’t want to be honest.
Is fear keeping us from being honest?
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
— Isaiah 41:10
Do you fear being honest with yourself? Do you fear the truth God is speaking to you?
“If you can’t be honest, you’ll never get to the BEST VERSION OF YOU.” – Clay Shaver
My friend Matt Ham hits home too:
“God doesn’t ask us to have all of the answers, He asks us to show up. He will take care of the rest.” – Matt Ham
Are you afraid you have the WRONG answers?
If I’m being brutally honest with myself, I’m terrified of having the wrong answers. The fear of having the wrong answers keeps me, and you, on the sidelines.
If your brain is anything like mine (what a frightening thought for you), it bounces between multiple thoughts.
Mine goes something like this:
“God’s got this.”
“There’s absolutely NO WAY I can do that!”
“God is always right.”
“How am I supposed to know what I’m thinking is from God!”
“I’m too terrified to move forward.”
“Wow. There are some great truths in this book I’m reading. I should share my thoughts with the world. Other people probably need to hear this too. It can’t just be for me.”
“Don’t post that. Nobody wants to hear from you.”
And on, and on, and on…
Here’s what I believe is the key to getting past this fear, and being brutally honest with what God wants for us.
Yep. As simple as one word. Giving in to fear, and hiding from the honest truth, is a heart issue. It is most certainly NOT a head issue.
Many of us are very good students of other people. We have learned how to “read” people and their habits. But, are any of us a “student of self”? Are we willing to be honest about what we see in our self?
Are you afraid of turning on the black light?
What horrible stains would a black light reveal in your life?
No matter how much we deny them, the stains remain. We may cover them up with a clean and spit shined life on the outside, but all our efforts to scrub away the deep down stains are futile.
If we are honest, we’ll let the stains show through and explain them to those around us.
p.117 of “40 Days To Lasting Change” – To be brutally honest with ourselves about our current reality, we must face our excuses. Doing so might be humiliating. It’s embarrassing. It’s painful. It’s essential.
Task: Define the true reality of my circumstances. What is the state of things as they actually exist in my life?
Anyone up to the task? Are you truly able to be brutally honest with YOURSELF???