I’m not perfect. I make mistakes on a daily basis. I am my worst critic. I set higher expectations for myself than I do for others. I shake my head at myself constantly. I tell myself to do something…and I don’t. I tell myself not to do something…and I do it. I fail. I mess up. I fall short. I am not perfect.
But God doesn’t expect me to be. Many people use the adage, “God knows my heart” as a reason as to why we did or did not do something. But it is far from an excuse; He does know our heart. And because He knows our heart, he doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He expects us to need Him.
Unfortunately, a need for God comes hand-in-hand with something many of us tend to shy away from.
Transparency is one of those things we desire from others, but we often have a hard time giving of ourselves.
Recently I was watching a show about a woman, who had committed a crime over 10 years ago, but somehow the truth came to the light and she ended up in prison. She was working in the prison one day and a young female guard came over to her and said, “You know, we’re not that different; you and I. I made bad decisions…I got myself into some pretty sticky situations. The only reason I’m not in the same uniform as you is that I didn’t get caught. But we’re really not that different.” As the guard was saying all of this, the camera panned to the inmate’s face. Tears began to form in her eyes and she let out a quiet, “Thank you for saying that.” In the midst of such a hectic and chaotic environment, here these two women were having such a beautiful and tender moment. Two women whom, society as well as their current circumstances and locale would debate as being very different from each other were having an amazing connection. Why? Because one dared to be honest and transparent. Imagine what could happen if you allowed yourself to be transparent. Transparency is defined as operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are being performed. It involves honesty, communication, openness and accountability.
But before we can even begin to be transparent with others…dare I say, before we can even begin to be transparent before God we have to become transparent with ourselves.
As women, we have been taught to cover our scars, fight back tears and suppress emotions that might be deemed weak or could be used against us. But, sister…transparency is beautiful. It indicates that you have come to terms with your faults and shortcomings and even more, you recognize and accept your desperate need for Jesus.
Be honest with yourself.
Recognize how imperfect you are…and how perfect He is.
Recognize your inability to live up to your own standards…and His ability to far exceed even your wildest expectations. Recognize that while you’re so busy shaking your head at yourself, you should be nodding your head at God. Indicating a ‘yes’. Indicating your need for Him, your desire for Him, and your hunger for Him.
“Search me, o God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23
Danielle Erwin is a writer, speaker, sister, daughter, servant and friend, operating daily by the saying, “find a hole and fill it.” With a heart for women of all ages, Danielle uses the God-given ministry Pursued to encourage women to live lives that are reflective of the one, true God. Her writings are filled with transparency and authenticity in an effort to inspire change and healing in the lives of others. You can connect with Danielle at www.iampursued.org or on twitter at @Elle_OVE.
[photo: Angelo Gonzalez, Creative Commons]