We Don’t Have to Hide Anymore
I came across an article about a friend of mine today. The article, which I didn’t know existed until this morning, was written a few years back and discussed her struggle with an eating disorder and the healing she found in Christ’s loving arms. I remembered the time when this story was written and I realized how little I knew about her struggle. And it got me to thinking about how we feel the need to hide our struggles from others. Why is that? Is it shame? Is it fear? What drives us to isolate ourselves from the people around us just when we need them most?
Maybe it’s that we don’t cultivate ourselves as safe places for people to turn to. I am so guilty of this. For so many years I did not understand the concept of grace. And to be perfectly honest, I still struggle to reconcile holiness and grace. But I think it’s really easy for us to just make a judgment about someone else’s situation without thinking through the repurcussions. For me, it’s about my superiority. I’m a PK. I’m a lifelong Christian. I have this whole thing sown up. I have all the answers and you don’t. Except we all know that’s not the case. And in my inability to see my own shortcomings I have cultivated the idea in others that I’m going to think badly about them if they have problems or issues or hurts.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. How many of us take the time to cultivate compassion and grace in our responses to others? It’s inconvenient. It’s uncomfortable. But it’s so necessary. It is vitally important to our health as human beings and as believers to bear one another’s burdens. Christ commands us to bear one another’s burdens. The Message says it like this: “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.” Galations 6:1-6
The bottom line is this, and it’s something I need to be reminded of every day. NO ONE IS WITHOUT FAULT. We all screw up. We all need grace, and the best way to receive grace when we need it is to freely give it at all times.
And one other thing. As Christians, as the body of Christ, we have to be willing to share our burdens with our family. Because we were not meant to bear them alone. Like the song says, we don’t have to hide anymore. The only way to heal is to remove the power that your burdens have over you. When they come out in the open, the hold your secrets and burdens have on you disappears.