John’s post yesterday pierced my heart. Deeply. Then it prompted some of the most uncomfortable questions anyone can ask themselves. What does my life say about me? If a private investigator talked to all the people in my life, what would he find out about who I am? How do the people I meet perceive me? To be clear, I am not defined by what other people think and neither are you. But it’s a rare thing to see yourself with clarity and there’s not a person alive who doesn’t need to do so. We all need the clarifying moments that God gives us.
Clarifying Moments of Growing Up
If you’re not a complete narcissist, then you will have many clarifying moments about yourself before you even graduate high school. These wake-up calls never stop and they never will. Why? Because God loves us. When I was five, I discovered that I wasn’t a ‘good’ girl. At the ripe old age of nine, I found out that I was bossy and annoying. A year later I was told that I ‘sucked the life out of’ my best friend. In 8th grade I learned that I wasn’t a good friend because I wasn’t loyal when things got tough. The list goes on and on. I wasn’t as nice or as pretty or as smart or as well-liked as I thought. And each one of these clarifying moments was as painful as it was important.
Each incident involving a perspective that conflicted with how I saw myself brought me to a crossroad. I could ignore what was said and go on with my life, or I could receive what was said and let it change my reality. Humiliations either humble us or harden us. And our life takes a turn based on that response whether we want it to or not.
Why does that matter if we have a new creation and the past is past? When we don’t see ourselves in reality and truth, in TOTAL need of salvation, then we can hang on to parts of the old man without even realizing it.
Clarifying Moments Lead to Healing
There is NO PART of my old man that is acceptable to God. NONE. But I only know that if I see and accept the truth of who I actually am, and not who I think I am. If I think that I’ve always been a good friend, God or no God, then I’m going to shut the door to God’s move in that part of my life. I believe that I am a good friend and always have been, so when it comes to friendship, I don’t need a Savior. I’ve got it covered. Fortunately for me (and anyone unfortunate enough to be my friend), God will send a wake-up call or 50 because He loves me. And because at the end of my life, He will be vindicated in every possible way.
There are some truths that break our hearts and turn our worlds upside down, and they’re supposed to do that. It’s proof of great Love that they pierce us so deeply. We are healed when we see ourselves as God dreamed us. But we can’t get there without looking in the mirror that life holds up to us. And the clarifying moments of uncomfortable truth are that mirror.