One of the hardest and most amazing things I have ever done in my life is write my Life Map and share the hidden parts of my history with our ReEngage class in the fall of 2021. The parts that made me proud were easy to share. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was because the root of all of my sins stems in pride. The parts that made me ashamed gave me anxiety to share with others because I struggle daily to walk in humility.
It was hard to share the Life Map because I spent so much of my life trying to be perfect. It was amazing to share it because it helped me realize the power of humility. As I shared my flaws with our small group and heard their stories, I learned not one person is perfect, but we live in a world where everyone has learned to overcome brokenness to survive. Each story shared helped me on my journey to become more humble.
Yesterday our new ReEngage group shared their LifeMaps, and there wasn’t a single story shared where I didn’t identify with a piece of the brokenness and healing somewhere. Every story made me prouder to call the individuals in our small group friends.
I found a quote once that has become my motto for vulnerability and authenticity in life. It reads, “Your story might hold the key to the prison someone else is locked inside. Don’t be afraid to share it.”
For many of us, sharing is hard. We don’t want people to know the real us because of pride. We worry about what others will think instead of believing that God forgave us and that’s all that matters. It’s good that you’re not proud of things in your past. If you were proud of some of them, that would be a problem. But God’s glory is found in every step you took to overcome them. His Glory is found along every stone in the broken path when you look for it. You shine that glory when you’re not afraid to share your story.
You can only hide your brokenness for so long. Eventually it shows up somewhere. We all want to be seen as “saints”, but the harder we try to hide our imperfections, the more difficult it becomes to appear perfect and we create new problems. Instead of loving, forgiving, and trusting others like Christ, we block people out and build walls when we live with our pride.
We are all “saints” by the Biblical definition when we accept Christ. But in the way the world uses the term, we all fall short. It used to be easy for me to point my finger at the sins of others but much harder for me to learn to admit my own sins, ask for forgiveness, and work to grow past them.
Pride makes us say “This sin is worse than everyone else’s sin.” God says, “Sin is sin.” (James 2:10-11)
Romans 3:23 reminds us we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Since learning to share my struggles openly with others, I have also learned something more powerful. In life, those who judge you for your sins (past, present, and future) and those who can’t forgive you have their own sin struggles they haven’t worked through yet. Instead of worrying about how they see you, pray harder for them. Find your tribe who can benefit from the path you’ve walked before them and help them heal and find God’s glory in their own story.
I have also learned that the people who truly love you, will love you no matter what. No matter the person, God can restore any relationship when two hearts trust, forgive, love, and show grace the way He does.