Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
I stood before the congregation, compelled to share the message that had been so burning in my heart. The night before I could not sleep. I had not shared my burden as transparently before such a large group of people. Would it help someone – make their path a little smoother?
That old familiar fear of rejection and the doubt as to whether I could minister to others attempted to smother me. Would my story make a difference?
For anyone who serves in front of others, it is a humbling experience. Our lives are open to evaluation, as is our ministry. Well this should be, as those who are serving in the capacity of a leader ought to have a higher standard. When you go through a scandalous situation, however, it is more desirable to keep hidden those dark places than to expose them for people’s consumption.
Choosing to help others, however, by bringing that object of scorn out in the open, those circumstances in our lives that we would rather blot out, is serving our brothers and sisters. It is easier to apply platitudes and move on with life, than to grapple with what hardship has wrought in our lives and how God used it. But testifying to God’s deliverance brings Him glory and lights the path for those behind us who are walking through the same burden with trepidation.
Making a meal or sending an e-mail are a blessing – but to identify with someone by sharing that you have suffered similarly is priceless. “Someone else knows! Someone else survived and has overcome! God is able to help them and will help me, too!” Now being transparent requires wisdom.
Discretion and discernment guide us in how we are to share – the goal being to glorify God. Such openness is difficult to do when certain stigmas cause people to be shunned in our society. A far greater fear, however, is remaining silent and being another cookie cutter person, pretending to have the perfect life. Jesus was transparent about the anxiety within Him when He bore all of our sins. He suffered the most humbling, vicious death and modeled what it was to triumph with genuine care – even for his enemies in the midst of that suffering. When we share our lives with others, we must not shrink back from sharing our weak moments, our sorrows, our burdens and our joys in Christ. Being real is what this world needs to see today, far more than a white-washed tomb.
Lord, thank you for carrying all of our burdens and modeling how to walk through this life in a fallen world.