An Open Book (June 2007)

I’ve felt challenged lately to really tell people the things that are happening in my life that really matter. It’s so easy when somebody says, “how are you doing?” to just tell them about work, or what you did over the weekend, or how your family is. How much better would it be, though, if we could all tell people exactly what is happening in our lives, good or bad, on a more personal level?

There are all kinds of passages in the Bible that talk about the heart. I think that one of the most misunderstood is Proverbs 4:23, which says, ” Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” I am a person who naturally puts up barriers between myself and others out of fear that I will be hurt. There are so many things wrong with that attitude that I won’t even go into it now, but, suffice it to say that barriers are not what this passage is talking about. So many people look at this as a command to keep ourselves separated from others, but I think that it is talking about keeping sin out of our hearts. Phillipians 4:4-7 states:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This passage tells me that the peace of God, which is the fruit of the Spirit, will guard my heart and my mind. I don’t need to guard it, God will do it for me. If I am in God’s will, He will guard my heart from sin, but not necessarily from pain. That’s where the peace comes in. One cannot possibly live or affect those around him without taking some risks, without the possibility of getting hurt.

I want people to know the real me. I would love for them to see all of my faults and see that my strength comes from my God. Why would I hide that? In my weakness He is strong. I should celebrate my faults because they allow God’s glory to be revealed in my life. I’m not saying it’s easy, nor am I saying that I am at the point where I am a totally open book. I’m just saying that I’ve been letting my guard down a little more often lately and it feels like the right thing to do.

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