It can feel terrible to be exposed. We grow up learning to cultivate a public image that diverges from our private reality. We learn what is and is not socially acceptable in order to survive and thrive.
However, Jesus teaches a new way of living. Truth is eternally paired with grace. Fully.
Exposing our truth - the gritty, ugly, rancid, animalistic humanity within - and embracing God's love in spite and around all those degraded moments IS freedom.
The habit of confession, even only to God, is our starting point to grab a hold of the forgiveness and love only Jesus offers. Nowhere else in the world is transparency met with such kindness! And as we wipe the sullen mess off our soul, we find God's light shining brighter and brighter, illuminating our thoughts, even our instincts.
We can only extricate ourselves from our baseness through re-learning living in Christ's grace. We can only walk forward in grace and love if we also lean into truth - even to the point of buckling under the weight, beating our chests, and crying out in our unworthiness.
The alternative is a life only part lived, hiding... a broken and un-filled life. Have courage and choose truth.
9-12 He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’
13 “Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.’”
14 Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.”
Adam Stark is a contemporary theologian & thinker.