“Are you Honest?.. Are you fair?.. That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.” -Hamlet
"Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?" - Ophelia
Bearing false witness and being His beautiful creation
Today we’re addressing commandment #8. Don’t run off! Before we do, take a deep breath with me. Come into a safe space where no condemnation resides. Is this hard to do? Take another deep breath, and let it all out and go: (shake out your hands and roll your shoulders) Sit beside Jesus, and come into His love. Take another full breath. Sit in this pause and quiet place: Look into His eyes and know your worth and your beauty as His creation. Was that hard to do? Praise Him either way! He loves you!
Beloved, part of being in today’s culture is to try and split hairs with Truth. We call experiences subjective, or perspective, or complicated, or even just omitted. And truly sometimes apart from Scripture it can be hard to discern. But our hearts know when we’re or someone else is misrepresenting the facts, when we’re trying to protect ourselves or someone else. So many disorders spring from dishonesty, from an inability to face trauma, in avoidance or pain. Being honest about how we feel, what we’re facing, how we’re behaving, what we’re actually thinking-- is hard work. Sometimes it’s easier to run.
And if, in reading this, you are suddenly feeling itchy with guilt, shame or condemnation then take a moment and read the first paragraph again. His love is perfect, and He loves us mightily. This is not about living up to law, but living into more intimacy with Jesus. He knows we run. And He is faithful. He works with what we give Him.
One of the biggest inhibitors to going into the deep places with God is a lack of honesty. It is perhaps not even a conscious choice. Some people are gifted in living in the messy complexity of grey, but can quickly lose their compass. And too often the gifted black and white dwellers can fortify themselves into a lock-box. But the clarity of the Cross and of the work Jesus came to do is set us free in those places, and to live in the tension of a fully realized relationship. Usually, but not always, lying places ourselves in God’s shoes, taking on the role of the protector and defender in a way we weren’t intended for. It says, in all self-reliance, I will get myself out of this. I will control how people view me. I will make sure I am safe. How much honesty do we have faith for? And if the answer is none, the force of a thwarted river will be extremely destructive-- either inward or outward, but it must go somewhere, for that is the dynamic of creation.
And how do we do that, be honest in all things? How do we back up and take off years of protective layers to find the truth? Does it have to be brutal? Does it have to leave me so vulnerable? Where do I begin? How do I give God my heart? How do I fight for this relationship?
It’s like the proverbial grain of sand, start small, build trust, and go from there. But FIRST: Ask Him. Close your eyes. Holy Spirit, where do you want us to begin?
And if you especially struggle with transparency and openness in human relationships, perhaps stay with God in the sacred spaces and practice on Him before venturing out to reform the fullness of your life. You must have confidence in the God who is calling you into the deep. To know that He will not let you drown. He won’t! Have courage, the small work of honesty in all things will lead you to a powerful place in Him.
Stop running. Be still. And know that He is God.
“…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b