For the past few weeks, I’ve shared just enough about myself to illustrate the journey Shannon and I have been on to get to the point we are at today. Up until now, I have attempted to share about God’s love, grace, and freedom that we have found. Now, I want to share a little about more about myself and destroy any facades or false images that could have possibly been portrayed by my words. I want to share my own dirty little secret.
Are you ready? Can you handle it? Here it is . . .
I’m not perfect . . . I may be incredibly awesome and good-looking, (sorry, couldn’t resist!), but I’m not perfect. That’s it. That’s my secret and I must confess it’s really not that well-kept. Those who know me best are aware that at times, more often than I would like to admit, I’m impatient. I’ve been known to have fits of anger that would rival the big green guy. I can be mean, rude, and harsh especially to those I love best.
Do I try to be a good person? Yes. Do I try to pursue excellence in what I do? Yes. Do I make an effort to show respect to all I encounter? Yes. I have high expectations of myself and am very critical when I blow it. The trouble is I have the same high expectations for others and am just as critical towards them when they blow it even if I never share it verbally and it’s only in my own mind.
I’d like to think that all this is hidden. I’d like to pretend that I am better than I am. But those false pretenses and that mask is exactly what living life as a “churchboy” is all about and that’s a life I just refuse to live any longer.
In the Old Testament book the Song of Solomon, chapter 2, verse 15 reads like this “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!” I love the poetic image that is displayed. The little foxes are trying to ruin the blossoming grapevines . . . the blossoming grapevines in the vineyard of love. When I allow the fox of impatient to display its head, love is ruined. When I allow myself to Hulk out, love is ruined. When I’m mean, or rude, or harsh, love is ruined. So many times, especially in my own home, with my own wife and my own children, I have allowed the little foxes to steal love.
Why am I writing this? Why am I being so transparent and vulnerable and sharing so much about my flaws and screw-ups? I believe the one thing all of us are looking for today is authenticity. We are all looking for people who are real . . . and that’s what I want to be. As a churchboy, I’ve sat under numerous speakers who portrayed false and dishonest public images of themselves. In fact, as a churchboy, I was guilty of projecting a false and fake public image of myself and, as I said previously, that’s a life I just refuse to live any longer.
So, what can I do about the little foxes? Well, as I said last week, God still loves me. The little foxes cannot ruin His love for me. Knowing that makes me want to guard against those foxes and guarding against those foxes keeps love alive with those matter most. Will I always be successful? Likely not, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I will catch as many foxes as I can.
We are told to confess to one another, pray with one another, and we will be healed. When confession is made and healing truly comes, the mask of the churchboy is finally destroyed.