In part 1 of this discussion we looked at the verse:
Romans 12:3 “…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
Most of the time this verse is offered as a warning against the sin of pride, and so it should be, but it has more to say to us than that.
Sins and failures are of two kinds; sins of commission and sins of omission. Perhaps when we fail to consider our weaknesses, doubts and fears we are failing by way of omission. It might be that we are doing quite fine in not thinking of ourselves in prideful terms and yet still be missing the point of the verse, because we have failed to consider ourselves in our totality – good and bad.
At this point in my argument someone might say, “All that matters is that I avoid sin. By not being prideful I am obeying the verse, so who cares about facing my weaknesses as long as they are not sin.” This is the sort of response one can expect from a sin-based faith, but could God have more in mind that that we avoid sin? Jesus said He came to give us abundant life. Surely abundant life is more than a life of simply avoiding sin.
So here is the question;
“could failing to address the hidden negative aspects of my life be coming between me and abundant life?”
Is it possible that failing to think about the negative aspects of my person could negatively affect my relationship with those I love, or even my relationship with my Father God?
We have an expression we use as a compliment. We say, “she is really real.” Or we say, “he is really genuine.” Or possibly, “With her, what you see is what you get”. What we are complimenting is their transparency.
We are saying that what we enjoy about them is that we are seeing the real person, both the good and the bad. The truth about relationships is that they are only as deep as they are honest. What I keep hidden about myself can never be a part of a relationship. This means that not all of me is a part of the relationship, and so the relationship will suffer. The more I keep hidden, the shallower the relationship.
The shallower the relationships the less abundant is my life.
And the same applies to my relationship with God.
Whatever part of my personhood that I refuse to bring to God is not a part of our relationship. What ever part I refuse to look at in myself is not available for God to heal. He never forces His healing on anyone. He waits until we will be honest with Him and then He begins to address our fears, doubts, and failures with us. Divine healing is a two-part process. We bring our pain to Him by being honest and He brings His truth and love to our pain.
What we need to note is that much of the time God’s healing comes through others. There are many blessings He chooses not to do directly because He values giving us significance in His Kingdom. We really are allowed to be His hands and feet, ears and mouth. And this brings us to the answer to the question; “Can I know others without knowing myself?”
The answer is no. Whatever I withhold of myself in my relationships with others will not be available to be healed through that relationship. Not only that but the relationship will not be “real”, because I am not being real. The more honest we are with ourselves and others, the more of God we will experience. And vice versa. The more honest we are with ourselves and God, the more of Him we will experience through others.
Relationships are the most valuable things we have. Our joy is tied to our relationships, first to God and then to others.
Relationships thrive on transparency like plants in the sun, so let’s open ourselves to the light.
To see the video of this talk visit Reluctantly Youtube Channel – https://youtu.be/CyywAatR2FI