Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Little REAL Goes A Long Way

Have you ever met someone who was, well, ....... fake? I am talking about the person who seems to paint their smile on when they wake up in the morning and wash it off when they go to bed. Someone who makes their life seem perfect, when you know it isn't (no ones life is perfect). How about the mom who is constantly bragging on her children in order to take attention away from her less than perfect life? Or the person who tells you just what you need to know so you cant get too close, because if you get too close, you will see her true self? What about the person who would rather die than have someone publicly expose their weaknesses?

We all know someone who fits in one of those categories. I see it all the time on the internet. You've seen them. The blogs where life is perfect and spent taking trips to Europe with the family or where the husband is perfect, the wife is perfect and the kids are 100% without fault. These are the women who tell us how their husband took them to Ann Taylor and told them to buy one of everything or how they spend their Christmases in the South of France, but send their money to buy presents for the poor. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but sometimes people give the false impression of having a perfect existence (matter of fact if my hubs took me to Ann Taylor and said I could buy anything, I would fall over dead). I am not saying that a blog is where you should air your dirty laundry, but you know the blogs I'm speaking of - we have all read them. Whether it is the blog of a "perfect person" or an "in-person perfect person", they leave you feeling like your life is pathetic because it isn't perfect.

A few years ago, a friend from church gave me one of the nicest compliments I have ever received (although I didn't really know it was a compliment at the time ;-). This person probably doesn't even remember saying this, but he told me "You have to be the most REAL girl in this church". I didn't really know how to take that. I was thinking that I would have preferred he replace the word 'real' with the word 'beautiful' or 'talented' or maybe 'nicest', but he said REAL. He had no idea the amount of 'junk' I have tried to hide in my life. Lately, I have come to understand that being real, which includes showing my weaknesses and allowing people to see the real me, the imperfect me, is not a bad thing.

When people see the imperfect me, they are able to see God at work. When they see my attitude change or see me turning from a particular sin, they are seeing God's power. "In my weakness, He is made strong". A facade of perfection leaves no room for bragging on God, and isn't that what our life should be about, bringing glory to The One Who Deserves It? When we act like our lives (ourselves) are perfect, we are cheating God out of the chance to get glory through us. Oh, I know that when we show all our cards, we face judgement from others (especially Christians), but maybe it's time we all get real and let some of our faults be known so that God can show Himself strong in our lives and in turn we can bear witness to His power in our lives.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

18 comments:

Fran said...

I wish I could share something on the ole blog but I just can't....this scripture has gotten to me today Bethanne. I truly thank you. Truly.

I gotta deal with some junk today.
Its killing me.

I love ya!
Fran

Amanda B. said...

Just wanted you to know this was for me today, too. The Lord has revealed an area (again through the LBY study) that I need to confess to someone very close to me. I've been trying all week to figure out how NOT to do it, but in light of everything God keeps showing me, I realize that confessing my "realness" to her and my "weakness" is what God wants me to do. Please pray for me to find the courage to do this. And thanks for letting me share my story last night...I was truly blessed to be able to do so and I hope that each and every one of your ladies is transformed as much as I have been by this study.

Carol said...

Hey, you've gotta click on the link to http://www.disneyworldmoms.com/2009

It's a Walt Disney World Moms Panel. If you are picked you get a free trip. You would be great! I saw it at Marybeth Whalen's site.

Cassie said...

Great post...You hit the nail on the head...Made me leave your blog, thinking about a lot of things...I don't want to come across "fake" to anyone....but I do want others to see my love for my Lord..That verse is powerful...'Boast about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me....' Thanks for sharing today....

Cheryl said...

You nailed it! When I started my blog, I compared myself to these "perfect" lives and thought, well at least mine will be different!
Being real is what gives you the opportunity to minister to someone.
One of my life quotes, "I'm not playing a role but living a life."~Karolyn Chapman, SBC convention 2007

Thanks!

Kristi said...

Bethanne, thanks for visiting my stink bomb, I mean blog, today. How funny that you are keeping it real. Me too. I enjoyed my visit to your blog. Blessings to you!

Joyfully,
Kristi

Carolina Mama said...

That's awesome! Thanks for visiting my blog - I am happy to have found yours. Loveyour design. ;)

Boy mom too!

Stephanie said...

Hey Beth!
Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! It is so great to know who is out there!!
I do think you were Bubba's teacher this summer at VBS. They loved it. We drove all the way there that week just for TCBC VBS.
You guys do such a great job.

Love your blog. Would you mind if I put a link to your from mine?

God bless!!
Stephanie

ocean mommy said...

Hey Girl! You know how I feel about Keepin' it Real.

Oh how I've stood in Ann Taylor looking at something I NEEDED and said...."Your grace is sufficient for me!" You have hit the nail on the head here big time.

steph.

Heather said...

Amen and Amen! I want to be "real" more than anything else in terms of my witness to others. I really, really do. Anything else leaves no room for Jesus!

Mommyluann said...

Well said my friend. I'm still waiting on the devotional book...think Lifeway will carry it???? hint!

Greg P. said...

I do like this post a lot.

I know many times I rewrite something before I post it because my ego gets in the way.

Your reminder helps to keep me in check. Good post Beth.

Colored With Memories said...

"Real" people are hard to come by...I know when I find one to hang on!

I really enjoyed this post!

Nice to "meet" you...I'm sure I'll be back for another visit soon!

Heidi Zawisza said...

Oh Bethanne!! I came over here to tell you how you ALWAYS make me laugh, and am DUMBFOUNDED after reading this post. I have actually been thinking of this very same thing lately, and considering blogging about it. Just trying to come up with a way to do it without "insinuating" anyone imparticular.
You did it beautifully, and I 150% agree with you. I have gotten so sick of reading blogs that seem to be nothing but bragging, always making sure to reveal ALL their blessings, shallowness...never SEEMING to get real. I too agree that there is nothing wrong with some of those things that you listed,but I don't feel it necessary to expose EVERYTHING God blesses us with. Some of His blessings are just for our pleasure, and they should remain just that. Feeling the need to always brag about your life, insinuates the exact opposite of pure happiness!! When you never see even a hint of trauma, tragedy, hurt, sadness...etc.., you begin to wonder WHO exists this way?? Obviously the answer is NO ONE!!
I am ALL ABOUT getting real sista!
With that being said, I also agree that a blog is not to air dirty laundry, and it is OUR blog to do with what we want, but COME ON....anyone who thinks that by telling the world their life is perfect and oh so wonderful makes them special or something, is just revealing the insecurities that truly exist.
Hopefully the simple fact that I call my husband an idiot on the world wide web, is a small indication of my NON perfect life!!!!ha!ha!ha!
Thanks for the guts to post about this!! I may use your post as a link on a future post of mine if that is okay with you!
Absolutely LOVED your post today!!

Denise said...

DO IT! VIDEO BLOG! I"LL BE WATCHING!

Rochelle said...

I love this. And I love REAL. This was what I needed today. Thank you.

LynnSC said...

AMEN Bethanne!! I want to be real too. I know a few people like this... and it is quite painful for me to be around them.

I so want God to be able to use me... and He can't if I am too busy trying to act perfect. I am real... maybe too real for some people... but I am sure there is still some work God would like to do with me in this area.

Thanks for this post!!
Lynn

Dionna said...

Great post and I heartily agree with your thoughts.