“The prayer that precedes all other prayer is may the real me meet the real you” (C.S. Lewis).This was a quote shared with me awhile back that has incredibly influenced the way I interact with friends, family, coworkers and strangers alike. I strive to be as real as possible with everyone I meet. Anyone who I have had the chance to speak with at any length of timewill either recognize that this is true or have possibly heard me share this quote and have seen how it works out for me. I have found this to be hard at times because some people don’t expect it or some people don’t like it. I am not saying I am a jerk or I am harsh (at least not on purpose), but I don’t pretend to be something I am not and my words are not fluffy (hence the website for my blog).
Lewis’ statement gives some guidance to our lives and can really effect the relationship we have with each other, but also the relationship we have with our God in several ways:
1) Deeper Relationships: When we are real with each other about how we feel walls are broken down that have created a fortress around your heart. The closer we can get with each other the better we feel since the guard is down. This goes for God as well. The more real we are about our relationship with God, the better we feel about ourselves. We have no goal to meet except for striving to be like Christ. If we are honest enough to share that we aren’t as awesome as we want people to think we are, maybe, the "awesomeness" others try to portray will go away too!
2) Deeper Prayer: Our prayers, at times, can be generic. The fact of the matter is we are even more generic when we pray with each other. We give prayer requests for other people’s struggles, but very rarely will we go past a health issue that we face. If we know someone is caught in sin we will lift them up, but it is hard for us to confess we are struggling because we don’t want judgment. Let that go! Be real enough to let people know the struggles of your heart and maybe their struggles will be released too. God wants to hear our deepest issues. Confess to Him without fear of judgment because He already knows. Jesus was pretty real in the Garden of Gethsemane, I mean he asked for the cup to be taken and he was sweating blood (Luke22) …how much more real can you get!
3) Deeper You: When you are real with yourself the less uptight you can be. When you are real enough to except your inadequacies it will help you strive to new heights. The less pressure you put on yourself to be something you’re not, the more likely you will be able to live to be who you are. If God has given you gifts, use them. If you choose to ignore the talents and gifts because you are afraid of what people might think, then you are hurting yourself and you may end up feeling empty.
Ever since hearing Lewis’ words I have strived to be as real as I can so no one can ever wonder who I am. I crack jokes (sometimes inappropriate), I struggle in life, I have pain, I have dreams, and I have a God that has allowed me to have everything and be everything I am. God is real enough to walk with us, talk with us, live within us, and know us. His call is clear that He wants all of us and when we hide or fake a part of us; then we aren’t answering.