Look at the world around you. You might start with the tip of your own nose. That, and everything else you see will cease to exist in a blinding flash of intense heat. Considering that, what should our priorities be?
2 peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
The scriptures suggest less materialism and a holy life. I add that the opposite of my normal focus is usually pretty close to godliness. That would be to focus on relationships,”love people-use things, not love things-use people” especially thinking about the other persons blessing and working at BEING REAL with them.
We followers of and believers in the finished work of Jesus, should, of all people be most able to relax and be real. Unfortunately, church is often the place of the most intense concentration of pretense and superficiality found anywhere. A wise observer once noted that Sunday morning for 11 till noon is the most segregated hour of the week in America. I am suggesting that it is also the hour in which we love to pretend more than at other times. We talk in strange ways when we pray, we pretend to have participation in our Sunday school classes by having the teacher go on and on reviewing the teacher’s manual and asking people to read a verse. Yet, no one is asked to share how those verses frighten them or anger them or seem impractical etc. (See my discussion on what faith actually looks like.)
It scares the liver out of us to be real, but then any acceptance that we receive is superficial and does not impact our loneliness. This is a lonely world and the United States has crafted what is probably the loneliest society ever!
Start with God. It is pretty safe to BE REAL with Him as he already knows all about you, and seems to like you anyways. Yet, in our universal insanity, we are afraid that He wouldn’t like us if He found out the real truth. In fact, we might not like ourselves if we took a full realistic look. (We are,after all much worse than we realize, maybe the worst sinner ever–like the apostle Paul.) Some of us wouldn’t accept a God who accepts us. We project our own contempt (I don’t like myself so you must not like me either.)
Just as it is impossible to love God without practicing on a person that we can see.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
I suggest that it is impossible to accept ourselves, warts and all, without BEING REAL with a fellow human, finding that they still accept us and have hope for us, and then realizing that God feels the same way. Ask God to bless you with someone you can BE REAL with, if they reject you then you had a fake relationship that would never have given you a picture of God’s acceptance of you. However if they are accepting but you never GET REAL with them, then you will say “yes but” to their acceptance and not benefit as God intends.
Lord help me to find in you all the acceptance I need but help me to be more open to letting others see the clay vessel that I am so that they might marvel in the treasure I contain–your love and Spirit within me.