Friday, February 15, 2008

Abi's Lent: Day 10

Chapter 7 of The Jesus Creed is about Truth telling--the good, the bad and the ugly!

The interesting thing about this today is that the focus is on telling God the truth, which is another way of being truthful with ourselves--since God knows everything, anyway!

There are so many ugly things that I want to squirrel away so that I don't have to deal with them. Ugh.... And this brings to mind a very helpful tool I learned back in college: The Johari Window.

Have you ever heard of this--or used it?

It speaks to the importance of self disclosure in order to know yourself better. Do you see the twist there? Not so that
others know you better, although that will be a secondary result. The key for me is to realize that the more open and honest I am about myself with God and a trusted friend or two, the more light gets shed on my blind spots -- and the more we learn about that which is truly known only to God.

It can be a very frightening experience to embrace this kind of vulnerability.

Truly, freedom comes speaking the truth before God (p. 69 of TJC) and truth telling awakens forgiveness (p. 70). We make our own prisons in our minds (hmm....the Matrix, anyone?) when we try to hide from ourselves and God and others.

And in line with a series of conversations over at Sonja's, truth telling must be about us telling our own truths, not about our demands for others to confess.

When I lead by example in this realm, I am set free from the burden in my heart, so that Jesus/Papa can carry the burden of what others have done to me. Only then can I resonate with God's words to the Apostle Paul's, when he was dealing with his "thorn in the flesh":

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

These are familiar words ... and being familiar, they sometimes ring hollow. My challenge is to allow the Holy Spirit to keep them fresh ... and the only way they say fresh is for me to confess my weaknesses so that Papa's love can make me strong. And that, my friends, is a very purple thing.

Leaning on Papa.


sonja said...

This brings to mind one of the more pivotal conversations in "The Shack." It takes place during the first breakfast and comes up as a result of Mack asking who's the "boss" in the Trinity. A discussion ensues about how we were created to relate with one another versus how we actually relate now (post-Fall). That we have become so accustomed to power being entrenched in our relationships that we almost need hierarchy for protection. Except that that begets more power AND more harm. The more protection we demand/build in, the more power for harm we are actually giving that entity to us. It's quite counter-intuitive.

AbiSomeone said...

Agreed. But it also makes me think of the current political situation regarding entitlements.

The more protection we require from institutions (governmental or educational as well as ecclesiastical), the more power for potential harm we give.

That this is counter-intuitive is why so many miss it. Simplistic thinking always misses the subtle and counter-intuitive things. And when we are unwilling to simply take responsibility for ourselves and for our neighbors, but make someone else do it, we are digging our own grave.

Institutional/hierarchical power always dehumanizes because it sees people as the "it" to be handled. It makes us faceless. It lumps us together rather than being willing to look at us as unique individuals with unique circumstances that just don't fit nicely into categorical boxes.

And it makes it easier to hurt us and hide behind the chilling words: "it's not personal; it's business."

The business of God IS personal, therefore the business of those who would follow Jesus is also personal.

And it starts with personal honesty and the responsibility we must take for who we are, what we think and what we do.

Christ, have mercy.