You can't keep your true self hidden forever; before long you'll be exposed. You can't hide behind a religious mask forever; sooner or later the mask will slip and your true face will be known. Luke 12:2 MSG
Thoughts for Today
Many of us wear a mask. We don't want other people to know the "real us." And yet, if we want to help someone we care about who is struggling with a problem, we need to take off the mask and be real. This quality of being genuine will enable us to be more effective in relationships with those we want to help—actually, in any relationship.
If people you are trying to help believe that you are a phony, they are not going to trust you. They need to sense that your inner feelings line up with what you say and do. They need to see you living a consistent life from day to day, whether you are at church or on the job or having a good time with friends. They need to hear you be honest about your feelings—although you do need to find a balance there. Don't be so transparent that you hurt or offend people with your honesty.
As a genuine person, you will not act superior or pretend to be someone you are not. You will honestly admit when you've been wrong.
Being openly genuine will open the door to a trusting relationship between you and those you want to help. It will encourage them to come to you and to respect what you say.
If you want to help others, be willing to be real.
Father, teach me to set aside my pride and be willing to be real. Help me to be honest about my feelings and genuine in all I do. Help me to take off the mask. In Jesus' name ...
These thoughts adapted from ...
Understanding the Times offers biblical strategies for ministry to our family and friends. Contemporary issues and needs faced by society are addressed with biblical principles that are timeless. Ideal for small group leaders and Sunday school teachers who want a better understanding of ministry in an addictive culture. The qualities described in this week's devotions are derived from Gary Sweeten's work in Apples of Gold I and II. We appreciate his contribution.
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