My husband and I were riding around back roads recently, just enjoying the scenery. We commented on pretty yards and nice homes that we passed by. In one particular yard, I remember thinking that the homeowners had a pretty fence. Well that’s an oxymoron, I thought. Something that is intended to keep people out, yet is crafted in the most beautiful way. And then I considered how people are the same way. We put up virtual fences in our lives to keep others from seeing our ugly mistakes. But these fences make us look perfectly put together on the outside.
As Christians, shouldn’t we be able to let our guards down with one another? Shouldn’t we be able to rally around each other, rather than gossip when someone has an error in judgment? As Christians, we ought to be able to realize that no one is perfect. That’s why we all need Jesus. And since God forgave us for our mistakes, shouldn’t we be eager to extend that same kind of grace towards our siblings in Christ?
This sounds nice in theory. But I am the first person to throw up those fences. I fail each day. And although God is helping me to grow little by little, I still don’t want anyone to see these mistakes of mine. I want everyone to think I am perfect. Part of this stems from my assumption that everyone around me is as critical of me as I am of myself. Maybe some are and maybe some aren’t.
But perhaps they are also in the same boat. Maybe they too are beating themselves up for the mistakes that they make each day. Maybe they too are striving for perfectionism. And maybe, just maybe, if we could let our guards down, that would help those around us to let their guards down too.
I believe God is calling us to be more genuine and authentic with one another, so we can help each other through this journey. We all have our own unique cracks. But God uses those cracks and turns them into a beautiful story.
The first step is to take down your own fence. Accept yourself for who you are. I agree that we should all try to grow in Christ. But embrace your unique personality and don’t try to hide it from those around you.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14 NIV
The next step is to help others take down their fences as well. Of course we can’t force anyone to do this. But your authenticity can be a witness to help others follow suit.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34 NIV
This won’t be easy. Every day we will have fresh opportunities in front of us. But the reward will be worth it. We can all become united and fight the good fight of faith together. The enemy is all too eager to keep us divided, because this makes our walk with the Lord less effective. But we have to take a stand for the Kingdom of God. Will you join me on this journey?