My daughter abhors the weight loss commercial where the woman testifies "I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin." But I find that many people that I know seem to be that way, and they don't even need to lose any weight. The reason is that they aren't who they portray themselves to be. I lived like that for years. I fell into the "Pastor's wives mold" trap and tried to appear that I was everything that everyone expected me to be. Move over Superwoman! What bondage! Pretty soon, I didn't even know myself! I had fallen into a religious trap and it rendered me unrelational with others and with my God.
There is a big difference between religion and relationship.
Religion is something that is done in an attempt to grow into a relationship with God.
Relationship is something born out of the realization of God and produces works that could be called "religious".
One is acting like something they want to become in hopes that they will become it. (Boy, if this worked, it would be so convenient. )
The other is actually being something and just acting according to what they are. This is much easier! :-) It's very freeing to act like yourself!
In Mt. 6:1, we are instucted to not practice our righteousness before men to be seen by them..... This is saying that we should not do good works in public to prove that we are righteous or to try to appear righteous when we're not. To me doing something so that someone thinks a certain way about me is sure evidence that I'm not what I'm trying to portray myself as to the world.
If we will practice righteousness in our private lives, it will be evident in our public life without any effort on our part. We all know that when our public and private lives are at odds with one another that no matter how hard we work at protraying a good public image, eventually in a moment of unguardedness or weakness, our secret life will come shining forth like the midday sun! Our secret lives are our real lives folks! It's who we really are!
My hubby always says that what you are at home is what you really are. Who you are when no one is looking is who you really are. So, if our public lives and private lives are in perfect union and harmony, we need take no thought of our public life at all. Our righteousness will be seen by others because we ARE righteous. And the good part of it is that we can just be ourselves--the self that Christ is in us!
Does that mean that people will always love and accept us? NOPE!
Does it mean that we will never need to change? HARDLY!
Does it mean that we all the sudden feel comfortable no matter where we are or what we are doing? We can only dream!
What it does mean is that we will be genuine people. I like genuine people. People who are just what they are, all the time, in every circumstance. Genuine people are the kind of people that others feel comfortable with, even when they don't agree with them. I hate it when people patronize me because I'm the Pastor's wife. I just want to slap them and say "GET REAL!" Just say what you think and think what you say. But do it in love!
I'm so glad that God has set me free to just be what He has made me to be. Even though that person is alot like the Apostle Peter, blundering through life with more zeal than wisdom sometimes, I'm comfortable in my own skin. And that is a good thing!