23 January, 2012

Honesty again

During the night as I blew my nose again and again, I was reminded of this ad.

My nose has slowed down since then, but my head is still pretty stuffed.

This morning I would have probably stayed home and felt sorry for myself except that there was something at CAJ that I wanted to attend. This week every year the school holds a Spiritual Life Emphasis Week (SLEW). One of the key events is a daily chapel with worship and a guest speaker. I mentioned it here last year. I was greatly blessed last year by going along to the chapel times. In fact it helped to drag me out of a pretty black pit.

This year's guest speaker is a former headmaster of the school, the man who was "in charge" when we first arrived at the school in 2005. He's a man whose sense of humour I've always appreciated, but this time there isn't much humour. As he said, there have been a lot of tough things the school has had to deal with over the last 12 months. And tsunami jokes . . . well, there's nothing funny about what happened in 2011.

In the last four years he and his family have also been through some tough times. He's started by sharing some of that. This week he's challenging us to be honest by being honest himself. Not just sharing the hard things, but the hard "not-Christian-sounding" questions he's asked in the midst of their difficulties.

I'm keen to hear the rest of what he has to say. Unfortunately tomorrow is the only other day I can go; the rest of the talks I'll have to listen to online without the benefit of worship beforehand.

One of the factors that had me in a black hole last January was a conflict with someone about honesty. She attacked me saying I was too honest and open; after I'd complained she wouldn't communicate with me beyond the surface level. Yes, we're poles apart. 

I've wondered in the months since then if it was an attack that came from Satan. One of the things people comment most often on about my writing is my honesty. And I believe that not only is that how God would have me live (and write), but that the Enemy hates it when we are honest. He attacks us by bringing people into our lives who take advantage of us when we are honest. He reminds us of how vulnerable we are when we don't hide our true selves. He whispers lies into our hearts about how people won't like us if they truly knew us; he tells us that our witness will be destroyed if people saw what we really are like.

But why does he hate honesty so much? I'm thinking (and this is just a hunch) that it is because in the darkness of us hiding our true selves, sin can fester more easily. Last night I was watching "Grey's Anatomy". It is a show about brand new doctors and the struggles they find themselves with in the hospital system. One of these interns said to another, "Do you feel like you don't know what you're doing..." the other interrupted with, "...and feel scared 100% of the time. YES." The first one said, "Phew, I'm glad I'm not the only one."

Isn't that so like our lives as Christians? Most of the time we walk around pretending we've got it all together. We assume that everyone else does have it all together and it is just us who doesn't. We feel ashamed and therefore hide behind our well-formed mask. I'm becoming convinced that this is one of Satan's devices. He loves to work in the dark, meddling with our thoughts like this.

Well, this is one of my hobby horses. Just in the last year I've blogged about it several times. Here I posted a song about it by Steven Curtis Chapman. This post about balance in communication provoked an interesting discussion that I blogged about here. And this post where I've declared my commitment to openness and honesty.

It is a controversial topic among Christians. But what do you think? Do you think our Enemy likes us to hide our true selves away?


Helen said...

I'm too tell-it-like-it-is too. Feeling your pain.

KarenKTeachCamb said...

I think what you are saying is spot on. God wants us to be honest with each other, in the most sensitive and loving way that we can. Yes, being honest makes us vulnerable, and Satan loves to have a field day with our vulnerabilities, but in our vulnerability, God can bring growth, and be our comfort and strength. Glad you found someone else who encouraged you in your honesty. Enjoy the rest of his messages, even without the worship.