“I was admiring your nails from a distance,” said my colleague after a recent meeting.
What a nice compliment, right? But instead of saying, “Thank you,” I quickly blurted out something more like, “Oh, just keep admiring them from a distance. If you look closely, you’ll see how messy they are.” And I began to share all the flaws before she could spot them.
Stay with me. This incident is about more than simple nail polish or learning how to take a compliment. As I was having this conversation, I got a picture of what many of us do when we don’t want others to get close to us.
We try to keep people at a distance because we don’t want them to see how messy we can be. We want them to stay far away in hopes that they won’t discover our flaws.
Isn’t it sometimes easier to push people away instead of letting them see the real you? Especially if you feel like the real you is chipped, faded, or somehow missing the mark.
If you’re tired of hiding, may I suggest you:
Ask the Lord to show you who to trust. There are people around you who love you and want to get to know you better. The Lord will make them clear. Once He points them out, take step after step towards letting them into your world.
Be honest about your faults with trustworthy people. Chances are they probably can see your imperfections before you mention them or they can see them even clearer than you can. Pray and then take a risk and share with them some of what you’re struggling with. If they truly are your friends, they will love you even with your imperfections.
Remember that no one is perfect. Stop striving to be perfect in everything and in every way. We all make mistakes, we’re all learning, and as the Bible says we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). That means we all need a Savior! When we sin, we can ask Jesus for forgiveness and He is Faithful and just to forgive us (I John 1:9). We can also confess our sins to those trustworthy believers that God has placed in our lives (James 5:16). That helps to bring healing!
Be rooted and grounded in God’s love for you! He loves you. Plain and simple. He’s not surprised by your flaws and weaknesses. He loves you anyway. His Grace is enough to help you in your weak areas and to transform you into the image of His Son Jesus. Even if others reject you, God’s love remains.
The next time you’re tempted to shrink back and hide, I hope you’ll ask the Lord to give you courage to be transparent with others!
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
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