“Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1
God’s intimate knowledge of every hidden part of my soul overwhelms me. He has searched in the darkest places and seen inside the locked messy closets of my heart. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows my every thought – those that I ought to act upon but don’t and even the thoughts that make me blush.
He knows I’m not perfect – He’s well aware of that fact. So, why do I keep trying to pretend like I have it all together? I can’t hide my imperfections from Him – that sweater doesn’t cover up the flaws and the makeup won’t help either. So, I’m done with pretending and I’m ready to be REAL.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart…” Psalm 139:23
Jesus wants us to come to Him “Just as we are.” He expects us to bring to Him our brokenness, our humanity and our failures. When you think about it, that’s all I really have to give Him anyway – my praises, my works are pitiful offerings but He is pleased with my brokenness.
Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
If this is what God expects from me – brokenness – then why do I expect any less from my brothers and sisters in Christ? How can I come to Jesus broken but then present a perfect face to the family of Christ? Honesty demands that I put aside all pretensions and allow you to see who I really am and that I accept you for who you really are.
David’s honesty with God might seem shocking to us. “Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you?” (Psalm 139:21) We think that this type of prayer has no place next to the glowing praises of God David just finished reciting. It seems so out of place in the context of the entire Psalm until we realize David is not afraid to be himself with God.
I have found very few people who are willing to go to the place that God calls us – this place of humility and honesty. Authenticity is rare these days. Even in so-called “reality” television programs, the participants are vying for attention and putting forth their best foot. People can share all their troubles with you and still not be sincere – authenticity is not just about digging up our messy sins.
Sincerity is the courage to be yourself no matter what others will think. The enemy of authenticity is the desire to please others and an overriding concern with the opinions of others. I don’t think this even entered David’s mind when he went dancing before the Lord half-clothed: he was only thinking of God.
True fellowship must begin with authentic community. I am weary of trying to be someone I am not – the one with all the answers or the one whose life is an example to others. Seriously, that kind of falsehood makes me want to vomit. I’ve met people whose authenticity welcomed me into their lives and I’ve met those who will never be true friends because they will not let down their guard. It’s ironic isn’t it? The person worrying about what others think actually puts forth a negative impression by being a “poser.”
Today, I want to let go of the fears and pride which keep me from being authentic. I want openness, sincerity and brokenness to define my life and ministry. May I never present myself as someone I am not.