Yesterday, we talked about how we hide our authentic selves so we can fit in, but that’s not the only reason we hide. Sometimes, we are afraid of being vulnerable. We are afraid that others will see us as weak, incompetent, or not good enough. Yet we cannot be authentic without also being vulnerable; the two go hand in hand.
When we turn to our scriptures, we find that they are full of flawed characters: Abraham, King David, Jesus’ disciples, the apostle Paul – each had their own struggles. Their mistakes are what make them relatable, though! If I opened my Bible and found perfectly obedient characters, I’m not sure it would have much to say to me. It’s in the struggle and on the journey that we learn.
In Philippians, the apostle Paul writes, “Not that I have already obtained [righteousness] or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul is able to admit his imperfections; he hasn’t reached the goal of righteousness… but he’s working on it. Similarly, for us, being authentic sometimes means admitting that we don’t have it all figured out, that we aren’t quite ‘there yet.’ And that’s okay! Our growing edges help us to relate to others and remind us to try to be as gracious with others as God has been with us.
Think about all the people who have been a part of your journey. Who are you the most comfortable being yourself around? What qualities does that person have that makes you feel safe? How might you begin practicing those qualities so you can be that safe person for someone else?