This little discussion has come about from a few youth group conversations and some recent conversations with family members. Earlier this year, with the church split, I was basically in a meltdown mode. I was emotionally all over the place. My dad suggested that I blog about it. I did, kind of. However, I knew that if I did there might be people hurt, confused, or mad with what I have wrote. So for the detailed stuff, I went to my Evernote account. Evernote is a note taking service. I can write notes and stuff and keep it behind a password. This has helped me get through some of the more difficult days as of late, without putting strange, depressing status message on FB and Twitter, or post that would hurt on my blog. I struggle with the balance of speaking truth in love. I love all of my friends and family. I would love some to be able to read some of these posts, but they would have to be put in context on what I was feeling and why I felt that way when I wrote it. Not that there is anything mean or nasty, but I have said things, when I was younger, that was meant to be positive, only for it to come across poorly and what was received was less than being loved by me. So I resort to having to put these things behind a password. The only exception is my wife, well my parents too. We usually talk about everything.
However, (now the real post is beginning) that isn’t what God meant for us. The original idea was that we were to be transparent with God and with each other. This is illustrated, by the fact that in Genesis 2:25 where it is said that they were naked and felt no shame. Isn’t that what we strive for? Being naked, well, in this case in metaphorical terms of being transparent, and having no shame. Obviously, there was nothing that came between Adam and Eve. They may have been physically naked and not had any shame, but I’m of the opinion that they could talk to each other and to God for that matter without holding anything back, and still feel no shame.
It is when “the fall” occurs that the transparency is gone. In Genesis 3:6-11, as God was walking through the garden, they hid because they were naked. Because they had done the wrong thing (eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil), in this case they became aware of the fact that they had disobeyed God. So they try to sew fig leaves together to cover themselves. This is pretty typical. Do the wrong thing, and cover it up when you realize that it was the wrong thing, and don’t tell the ones you love that you messed up, or even blame them.
Ever since, we have constantly had a disconnection from God…and from each other. I think it is important to point out that when the fall of man occurred, that there wasn’t just a separation from God, but in our personal relationships. Even the best relationships still hold back information afraid or ashamed to admit something from our past. However, through Jesus Christ, he comes to bridge that separation with God, and each other. Imagine that we did nothing for selfish gain, but in a true Spirit of love. Even if we did mess up, even if it was something that was considered major, and in most people’s eyes you were considered bad, that family, friends, and the community would rally around you and not excuse the sin, but help to restore you to wholeness. This is possible with Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.
“But you don’t understand…,”How many times have I heard that? In 10+ years of youth ministry, I’ve heard that so many times, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. God has put people in your path, that are full of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you! So you may not have experienced the same thing, but pain is pain. In my post about how I was leaving Facebook for a while, I shared that it was as painful as two break ups with girls I dated. One of which, was a girl that I lost my virginity to. The pain from each break up and the church split were on par with each other. Soul ties were made, in some case from physical intimacy, and in the other from close friendships that are for now not necessarily lost, but at least awkward because of the fall out from the split. In the case of the girls, I wandered around disconnected from most people and ashamed of what had happened. In the case of the church split, I am healing well, as friends, family, and community, not caring what side of the line I stood on, have rallied around me in the spirit of love, and restored me, well at least some of them. So remember, find someone you trust, to be transparent with, and follow James 5:16. To confess your sins to another and God, will set you free. It did me, so many years ago.
While I am more transparent with people now than I was 10, 15, 20 years ago, I still have more to do. However, what holds me back, are the ones who are not as spiritually mature and would have a hard time being transparent themselves. So I continue to work on the way that I love people, being as transparent as possible. I pray that they are with me. That way one day, I can post things that I find hard to blog about, currently.