August 22, 2016

Take off the Mask

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“What are you afraid of,” my mentor asked me, “that you will tell people what they already know?”

The question was rather comical and extremely humbling at the same time.  This mentor was noticing that I had a bad habit of trying to hide my true self from people.  My mentor also knew that I tried to pretend I was perfect.  The mentor’s question caused me to ask a question of my own: “You mean people know I’m not perfect?”

My question probably strikes you as ridiculous, and it does to me too, now, but back then it was a painfully awkward moment.

That moment set me on what is now a 25-year journey to act in more authentic ways.  What I am learning is that the more authentic I can be in my relationships with God and other people, the more others are helped and the more God seems to be able to use me.  It’s not that I share every thought I have with everyone around me, but I am much quicker to say, “I don’t know,” or “Let’s explore that together,” or “How do you think about that?”  And, the big surprise for me in all of this is that the more authentic I am with others, the more freedom I feel to be loved and to love in return.

I wonder if that is part of what Paul means when he writes in I Cor. 13:12, “Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully even as I am fully known.”

Do you have anywhere in your life you can PRACTICE being more authentic?  With God?  With family?  Even with people you lead?

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