Hello Hump Day Readers! I’m taking a pole for this devotion. Here is the question: “how many of you say you are fine, but you’re not?” I’m going to guess we all do and some of us more than others. I tend to hold things “close to the breast” as they say so if I’m not fine, I will rarely tell you.
My friend, Lysa TerKuerst, the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, once asked her audience this question. I was there as their worship pastor and I almost launched myself off the bench! If we could be honest with ourselves, I don’t think we would say it is OK to pretend that everything is fine when it’s not. Lysa shared that “If ever I catch myself pretending or proving, I know I am not trusting God with the outcome and am processing my hurt the wrong way…like putting it all on my shoulders to get back to being fine again.”
In her address to a room of hundreds of women, she asked us all to stop, listen to our hearts and minds and come up with the right approach about being fine. The women had a variety of answers. For me, I chose integrity and I was elated that integrity was the “big winner!” But truly, if we want to be people of integrity, that has to include not lying about how we feel, how we are doing, etc. If you’re not fine, indeed you are NOT fine!
James penned this time of honesty in 3:17. I’m using the Amplified Bible—take a nod to the adjectives and definitions!
“But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile].”
So, if it seems to be fine to pretend that everything is fine so we can avoid tough situations, keep the peace, not upset anyone—fill in your own blanks—we’re deceiving ourselves. And, taking the other side in coming out with the gloves on and letting someone have it, isn’t fine either. In fact, both of these options don’t work at all, unless you want to keep digging your own hole until you can’t get out.
A pastor friend of mine would point us to the importance of our “soul integrity.” This requires honesty—to others as well as for our own selves. In doing so we have embraced a powerful wisdom from God that can help us work through tough times and celebrate breakthroughs. Living with “soul integrity” is a commitment, not a thought for the moment. If we can learn to be honest with what we feel instead of hiding, and not being pumped up with pride for our accomplishments, we are giving up ‘emotional spewing’ as Lysa would say, and finding peace because we are dealing with ourselves honestly.
If you want real honesty, it’s time to have a serious conversation with the Holy Spirit. After all, the scriptures make more than 100 references about the Holy Spirit, here are some I just love to share: Ultimate Teacher, the Wind of God, Our Intercessor, The Seal of Heaven on each saint, and from John the Dove of Peace who calms us, Gift-giver who equips us, and a river of living water who flows out of us to refresh the world. In other words, if you call upon the Holy Spirit, you will be shown REAL truth!
Father Richard Rohr writes “Soul integrity brings balance to chaotic relationships and makes us true peacemakers.” We can stop proving ourselves and pretending we’re fine. When we do, we will find peace beyond measure and live in a much healthier way for our whole body, soul, and mind.
In closing, I urge you to listen to the URL link below with the song from Matthew West and Carly Pearce, called The Truth Be Told. When asked about the meaning of this song, West replied: “I encourage you to not hide your scars or problems for fear of what other people will think…instead, remember that no one’s life is perfect so there’s no reason to keep the messy parts of our lives a secret.” Well said. You know, I love to have my Christian worship music on when I’m driving and it seems so often this song comes on…perhaps God is telling me something? Indeed—AMEN!