I wind myself up trying to be perfect pretty frequently. To be all things to all people, to get all the things done, to reach out to everyone, to be creative and studious and friendly and … um, you get the idea. And then I have a fine fit of self-flagellation when I fail.
This time, as I was coming back out of the swamp of despair, God was on me to be more confessional, to spend more time in prayer with Him, to be more real.
Why wouldn’t you be real in prayer? With an omniscient God who already knows?
Because you’re prideful? Because you’re trying to shove your desires and raw self under the couch because you’re ashamed? Because you’re trying to “fix yourself” in front of Him who created you? Because you want to have control of one little corner of your life, and if that’s by denying yourself before you even ask… well, that’s still control.
All of that.
I figure I must have a real wide streak of Pharisee in me, because God has had to drag me out of the path of Pharisee-dom (various denominations) more times than I can count. It always hurts, burns down to the core, and makes me ashamed. How could I? (Begin self-flagellation routine).
Today, I’m thinking… maybe one of the reasons God insists on me being real with Him, being raw and just saying what I’m thinking right away instead of trying to clean it before I take it to His feet, it’s because what He’s gifted me with is the role of intimate friend and counselor. It would be too easy to act like I have it all together. It would be too easy to be (as Pastor Dan was preaching tonight) a referee only calling fouls and not in the game.
My calling is to be there to walk with folks through whatever they’re going through, to love unconditionally, to encourage and exhort and counsel – not to be the ref. I’m supposed to be the coach, if anything. A big hug, a little advice, and a smile as I send (x) back into the game.
If I for one minute forget that 1) I’m not better than anyone and that 2) there but for the grace of God go I (for I have been greatly blessed and protected) then I can’t do my job. I become Scary Church Lady, not a conduit for the love of Christ. It’s not everyone’s job to exhort and encourage, it *is* my job. And there are prerequisites and a skillset. (About which I’ll talk soon, I have a post in draft, it’s all tangled with kittens – I’ve been fighting to make it somewhat linear).
Now my job is to catch myself up short when I try to repress all the wants, all the ugly, all the “things I don’t think fit who I
am want to be”. It’s all to go to Jesus. Good for my humility, I expect. /shrug.
Confess. Don’t repress. (God knows anyway).
PS Those of you who know me, know – I don’t have boundaries. Well, I do. But they’re farther in than most people’s are. I am really like this, and it really weirds people out all the time.