Let’s get real, shall we? Most folks aren’t honest about who they really are. Most people cover up their sin and put on a show for everyone in their lives. Then they protect the reputation of this make-believe version of themselves by pretending that everything is okay and that they’re doing just fine. They don’t have anyone in their life they are truly open and honest with and there’s never any issue they’re struggling with or problem they can’t solve.
Why do we do this? Huh? Why do we manufacture a version of us that is less real than the tooth fairy and then go out of our way to convince everyone we know that this is who we really are?
I think we pretend because we are scared to death of two things. Number one, we are afraid of being humiliated, and number two, we are afraid of being rejected. I think we hide our sin and cover up who we really are because we are terrified that if we were honest about ourselves, we would be disgraced, ashamed, shunned and forsaken.
Now, since most of us have done this exact thing a hundred times, we all know the biggest problem with it - which is the fact that pretending we’re awesome doesn’t actually make us awesome. In fact, it makes us worse. We become isolated because the relationships we actually have aren’t all that real, since we’re leading off with a fake person who doesn’t actually exist. No one truly knows the ‘real’ us and we become more alone all the time. This leads to having no power to change the behavior that led to our isolation, which makes us dive deeper down inside it. It’s a cycle that only gets worse.
Look at what David says in Psalm 32 - “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy upon me.”
So what do you do if you’re stuck in that lonely cycle? Well, it’s really simple, actually. You find someone in your life that you can trust, and you open up to them. Ask them to pray for you. Admit your struggle. Tell them how powerless you are to stop it. If you will do that, I can absolutely guarantee you that those things you’re afraid of will evaporate like smoke. You won’t feel humiliated or forsaken. Instead, you’ll find out you’re not alone. You’ll learn that other people struggle just like you. You’ll be able to laugh at yourself and the spell of that cycle of sin will start to unravel and break. Friends, there is freedom and power in honesty. It takes a brave person to be real, and it takes an honest person to change. If you’re tired of being trapped by the cycle of isolation, loneliness, hypocrisy and wrong that makes you hate who you really are, then open up and I guarantee you that everything will change.