Thursday, February 03, 2005

a confession of a disciple

I hate being a coward. I hate being afraid. When I need to stand and be honest and have courage, I shirk away disappointing myself and my God. *sigh*

Today's been rough at the bookstore. We have several big projects coming due and very few staff to accomplish all the tasks. In addition, each day seems to bring another item on our to do list. Such is life, I guess, but it does tend to increase stress amounts. I'm not easily stressed, so to say I am stressed is saying something. Today has not been good in the realm of work, to say the least. It's depressing at the worst and frustrating at the best. *sigh*

Several times today people whom I consider friends or at least acquaintances asked me how I was doing. Without skipping a beat, I blankly told them good. Without thinking I lied. I didn't even consider telling them the truth. I can chalk it up to habit, culture, etc., but in reality it's because I'm a coward.

I'm afraid that if I tell them the truth they won't really care. I'm afraid that if I tell them, they'll see how much of a putz I really am. I'm afraid that they'll see behind this wall and mask I put up and see the wretched person that is me. I'm afraid of being hurt...I'm just afraid.

A lot of the fear is irrational, I know. Those that have my heart in friendships will not smash it to the ground. They will care about my life and desire to walk with me through it. They already know I'm a putz and if they see the real me, they'll love me regardless. They won't intentionally hurt me.

Even knowing all of these fears are irrational, though, I still fear. I am a coward. God is dealing with me in so many areas of community, but one of the biggest things is authentic living. God has called us in Christ to live in authentic community together (i.e. the church) and to live holy, authentic, and transparent lives. I've been called to live in community with my friends--my brothers and sisters in Christ (my family), yet I am such a coward I can't tell them the simple truth that life sucks sometimes.

I confess my cowardice to you. I'm not trying to hide it, but sin and faults are best settled in the light. When the darkness overshadows them, they can remain out of sight and out of mind. This way, everything is on the table, bared for all to see. Here's my confession: I hate being vulnerable. It doesn't come naturally to me and is a struggle. When I'm sinning, hurt or down I totally withdraw and go within myself. I do not desire to be in a community. Opening myself up to community means I open myself up to more hurt or depression or will have to deal with the sin that I so enjoy. life is not complete without community. That's ironic. The times that I need community the most I desire it the least. I'm made for fellowship with other people. I am created with a church-sized hole that nothing nor no one else can fill. So, to solve my issues with vulnerability I need to...make myself vulnerable in a community. To solve my cowardice, I need to...stand up and be brave, looking my fear in the face. Thankfully it's not me doing it all. God has given me the Holy Spirit and an incredible group of friends that will empower me.

Community...that's the crux upon which our Christian life hinges. Our salvation is sure and firm in Christ, but victorious Christian living cannot happen apart from community. Community and fellowship cannot happen without vulnerability. Vulnerability cannot happen with surrender. The first step to community, to victorious Christian living is surrender--a surrender to the person and plans of God.

That's my confession, then. I am a coward who's afraid of being vulnerable. I'm a coward in need of bravery from on high. I am a coward who has surrendered and who will be brave.

until Christ is formed in us...


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