It is a common practice to put one’s “best foot forward.” As children we were to exhibit “company manners;” in other words, “pretend to be someone you’re not.”
The unspoken message was this: you’re not good enough.
As a parent, I believed that much of my value rode on my children’s behavior; my parenting skills, my ability to be an asset to society, and the ability of my children to also be valued.
For instance, I was in a store the other day where a child was loudly carrying on, making shopping unpleasant for his mom…and everyone else in the store. He was probably about ten years old…certainly old enough to know better. All around me I could hear women hissing to one another what they would if “if that were my child.”
As I came around the corner, I made eye contact with her and gave her a warm smile. By the comments she made, I learned that the child wasn’t even hers – but a step-child on a “visit” with his dad.
She had been weighed and found wanting – despite the lack of information concerning the circumstances.
Where was I going with this?
I wanted to talk about the need to be real people – not plastic. A hypocrite is an actor, one who pretends to be something he or she is not.
Unfortunately we take this learned behavior into church, afraid of what others would think of them, “if they only knew…”
Probably because if “they” find out – they will gossip.
My life became much simpler when I chose to be honest about who I am (a work in progress – I’m about 60% there). If I tell my Christian friends that I’ve been married four times, I don’t have to worry about them finding out. Same with alcoholism, drugs, promiscuity, adultery; if they know because I told them, it gives a lot less ammo for the enemy to use.
I don’t have to fear that when I’m speaking or leading worship someone will stand up and say, “Everyone needs to know this about Tami…” and be rejected because of my past.
I make the worst known (within reason…some things should never be aired publicly) , then ask,
“How d’ya like me now?”
If anyone sticks around, well, it’s all good. Those who would judge me leave, and I’m left with the audience the Lord intended all along!