When my son Elliot was about 4.5, he was in our basement hanging out with our current roommate at the time. Said roomie had been showing Elliot a little about FIFA, the soccer/football Playstation game. My little man is much like his parents and has a pretty obsessive nature. So when it came time to turn it off, he pretty much flipped out. Tears, frantic begging, etc. ensued.
We have been working hard with him on self-control. I have a lot of fears about him never learning to self-regulate and being in a dark basement hunched over legos for days without eating. I never said I was sensible or that I wasn’t a touch crazy.
Anyway, after a little break, our roommate and I had a tandem conversation with him about wisdom. What it meant to be wise. How the grown-ups job is to teach him to make good decisions so that when he is grown-up himself, he can be wise.
He looked at us at the end of our beautifully worded explanation and said…
“I don’t like wise. Wise is too hard.”
Biting the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing, we agreed, talked a little more and moved on. My friend and I have both retold the story many times. And every time I can’t help but internally agree with my little theologian.
I don’t like wise, either. Wise is too hard.
I mentioned in this post a couple Friday’s ago, that I’m learning so much about the beauty of confession. Of admitting our sin and setting down the backpack that is so dang heavy. How that gives so much freedom. How it is so wise. Bringing our junk into the light is how we heal. How we grow.
Yet we don’t trust that, do we? Trust that in being vulnerable and honest in places that are safe, our freedom rings? Have you ever considered the wisdom in confessing your yuck? Your failings? That it’s quite brilliant, actually?
We walk around, you and I, day in and day out, carrying weights and burdens we weren’t meant to carry. And we are terrified to share the load with other people. To expose ourselves.
Why do think that is the case?
We don’t like wise. Wise is too hard.
Obviously, I believe we live in a world that has been jacked up by sin. By my sin. By your sin. But today, I’m thinking a little more into the behind the scenes of my stuff. Of your stuff.
I ask again, why do you think this is the case? This hiding we do.
I’m gonna cut right to it. Here are a few rudimentary ones to pick from…
- I’m afraid people will know how not perfect, or not good, I REALLY am. I’ll be exposed and therefore their opinion of me will change. Perhaps my credibility will be threatened.
- I don’t think that I can actually change. I have been stuck in this for too long. I have failed at this too many times.
- I don’t think that I actually need to change. It’s not THAT bad. Pride roars loud here.
- I don’t think that I actually WANT to change. Sometimes our junk is enjoyable, am I right?
- I don’t see that what I am doing is really and truly, sin. We love to use “dumb-down” language here. For example: “Been feeling insecure about how I look. So annoying.” Truth…I might be idolizing my body.
- I will be seen as weak.
- It’s. Not. My. Fault.
Number 8. I don’t like wise. Wise is too hard.
Honestly, as I wrote that list, I could have kept going. On and on and on. I am a master of excuses. But actually, they are lies, right? That is not to say there is no truth in any of these. However, know this. Satan lives for 2 lies and a truth. Just enough of what’s real to confuse us. To trap us. And add to it that our own messy hearts desire things that are not “good.” No wonder we stay stuck in our mud.
The point to all this is that the older I get, the easier I find it to hide. Behind busyness, behind kids, behind ministries and careers. But also, the older I get, the more tired I am of hiding.
What about you?
Are you tired…weary to the bone…of keeping up pretenses and being devastated when you can’t?
Do you want to have that kind of wisdom that brings freedom?
I know I do. And if you feel the same, I want to share the steps I have been taking in owning my sin, exposing my sin, and moving forward in the lavishness of God’s grace for my life.
I’m learning the value in having people. I have people. I have a couple of women, plus Bret in some places, that my heart is distributed amongst, and the sum total of my people is they get it all. ALL. And it’s new to me. This kind of exposure. Recently, I’ve given words to some long held shame and sin to one of my people. It was hard. It was humbling. We prayed and I repented. It was so blessed. Bless-ed.
Backpack went to the ground.
And in its place was freedom. Not the sense of doom or shame I had feared in exposure. Along with the freedom was a plan. And real accountability.
You see, we fool ourselves into thinking that confession is repentance. As women, I see us do it so flippantly. If I just casually throw out there that I have been blowing our budget, there isn’t really a chance to ask the hard questions. Am I struggling with stuff? With greed? Coveting?
So I would argue confession is a step in the process. The next step is change. Freakin’ stop what you are doing. We want to sugar coat it and over complicate it, but that is what repentance is. I can assure you that stopping is completely contingent on the humility to ask the Lord to help. And then to actually listen to that little voice pointing out your error. The Bible calls that His very own Spirit.
The next hard part is the keeping on stopping.
Note that I’m not trying to diminish our very real, intense struggles with sin. I know that for many of us, it is actually very complicated and sometimes deep and painful, but again, I am one hundred percent sure that repentance brings freedom one hundred percent of the time. It might not always be instant or perfect or without failure on our part. But I trust God and he promises life after repentance.
Do you want this? Are you carrying a backpack that is too heavy? Do your shoulders hurt? Is your bag strained? What about the seams…are they tearing?
If so, I’m begging you to find your people. Confess, for real. Repent for real. Ask God for forgiveness. And then ask him for help. It’s not trite. It’s not religious speak. It’s freedom.
It’s wise. And yes it’s hard. And oh so good.
This article originally appeared at MadeFrank.com.