Have you ever hit a wall? I mean figuratively, not literally. I’m not talking about the kind of wall that other people put up either. The kind I mean is the wall we put up inside of ourselves, around those most vulnerable places, to keep others from seeing whatever it is we don’t want them to see.
Sometimes, we build a wall around something in ourselves that is so unattractive that we don’t want to see it either.
Great strategy, right?
Here’s the problem. We each have an innate need to be fully known in order to feel loved and accepted, to feel safe. That same need often comes with a gut-wrenching fear of being discovered for who we truly are. The horrors of people learning that we have flaws or that we are weak and needy.
So, we put our best foot forward in social situations. We dress to impress. We get the great job, the attractive spouse, the big house and just the right number of kids to round out the perfectly created image we want to project to the rest of the world. Heck, why not throw in a dog or two?
The problem is those walls we designed to protect us can actually hurt us. They keep us from being fully known by both ourselves and by others. Those walls change our perceptions and stunt our emotional and spiritual growth. They can inflict pain, and they keep us from healing and growing.
A question I have been asking myself today: What happens if I start taking down my wall one brick at a time and start being more fully transparent about myself and what I’m going through with those I like, love and trust?
Will the shame overwhelm me, or will others love me less? Possibly, but I also know I stand right with God because of the trust I have in who Jesus is and in what He did on the cross for me. This is also true of my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
This is the curious thing about the cross. Where the world sees folly, fiction or fantasy, the Christian sees fact, freedom and victory in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He gives us hope.
“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:68-69).