When we are willing to publicly display our personal walk toward Jesus by allowing even our unsightly dross to appear in public view; when we openly share our personal journey of refinement, we provide others with such rich and fertile soil from which to gain courage and grow. Our personal testimony stands as the proof that Jesus DOES change lives.
Allowing others to witness our imperfections and moments of pure (and often ugly) humanness and then allowing them to accompany us through the beautiful transformation process is so gut-level honest, drawing us all closer together. Jesus can powerfully melt walls and enable us to see with His eyes when in obedience, His people willingly share the honest, undoctored testimony of their lives.
The raw, honest, vulnerable, exposed, messed-up-yet-beautiful truth of our life is indeed a powerful blessing. The parable of our life is not a trivial thing. It is a powerful tool of truth. Satan hates the mighty healing-power of honest testimony, and persistently produces comments out of loose mouths to intimidate us from sharing the naked truth. Have we not all experienced this pattern of discomfort-intimidation? Yet, from Jesus’ Spirit of courage, we stand, responsible to the truth, despite all that enemy-generated discomfort orchestrated to tempt us off the path.
When, for fearing the discomfort of criticism, we do cave to this intimidation, step off the path and begin offering an altered perspective (whether by hiding our truth behind a wall of protecting-silence, or, presenting a carefully-constructed, highly-polished, comfortably-perfected yet dishonest testimonial-mask), this altered, greater-than-we-are perspective can give the appearance of pridefully placing ourselves on a pedestal. Critical spirits can then emphasize that pedestal to the insecure, causing them to become threatened and themselves uncomfortable, tempting them to knock us off that pedestal, bringing us back down to our rightful place in their eyes — below their level — thus restoring their own comfortability.
Yet, if we, in humility, would only innocently stay the deeply-honest course (like a child) and not cover up the truth of our delicate light (but stand in all our vulnerability against any temptation of pride or fear of criticism), then we would not have so far to fall when the proud and insecure pass by, would we? For, they would see no threateningly-high pedestal to kick over. All they could do is scoff at the obvious imperfections of those whom they see as beneath them, and kick dirt in our face with their criticism — still painful, yes, but much less so, perhaps leaving room enough for us to pity them their place and quickly forgive them.
But, my greater point here is that this scene is incomplete. For, while our wary focus may be on those proud and insecure children who can and “will” hurt us, there are so many more children who are looking on — vulnerable, impressionable children seeking with open eyes and tender, broken hearts. Imagine the healthy and inspiring impact when they see us refuse to play the perfection-game of the insecure and the proud, but instead let our imperfect-yet-so-beautifully-humble-and-honest light shine despite the painful attacks, trusting that our Jesus will not let His transparent, beautiful lights come to shame for their imperfections.
When we take our seat on the witness stand of the courtroom, are we asked to speak of that which we do not know? All we can give is the testimony of our life. For, we are its one-and-only witness. How can the parable of our life and the beauty of our transformation achieve its full, inspirational impact when our full journey remains untold and all that is shown is our final destination, where it is we look our best and feel our safest. The parable of a life is a gritty story that only one witness can tell, but like reading a good book, it is a journey that many can take, a journey that deeply impacts the soul, forming a powerful loving-bond of friendship with the story’s main character. Satan hates this impact, so he badgers us to give an incomplete or less-than-truthful testimony, air-brushed, polished and refined for our own self-comfort.
I know it takes courage to expose our light in the presence of those few who might hurt us because of it, but there are truly so many others who will be drawn to it and deeply impacted by it. Our light is one of unconditional love, but also vulnerable truth. We each are the witnesses who carry our own testimony. It is this truthful testimony that the Lord can use for His glory, to save His children. They are all our future friends. And on behalf of those yet unsaved friends, I thank each of you, my brothers and sisters, for your courage and willingness to be vulnerable. You may not like your own life’s parable, but don’t underestimate or even attempt to judge its huge impact. Just know with a peaceful certainty that it is a very powerful story.