Thursday, April 20, 2017

Proverbs 27:5-6 -- On Honesty and Acceptance

"Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."
Proverbs 27:5-6

You know, when I read this today I read it differently than I ever had before.  Perhaps Easter is still in my brain, because I immediately thought of Christ's faithful wounds that show us his friendship, and the deceitful kiss of Judas.

Here, God is telling us not to be fake or false.  By asking us to be honest, he isn't advocating rudeness or cruelty, even though sometimes we use honesty as an excuse to inflict harm.  Instead he is asking us to open up so that we can learn to love each other.

We talk of honesty with phrases like "opening up," "coming out," or "baring our souls."  It seems an unnatural thing that we can only do with our closest, most trusted confidants (the fact that they are "confidants" is also telling).  We don't trap ourselves just behind a door, or in a closet... it's more like a bank vault with every security measure known to man.  We worry that if people knew what we were really like, we wouldn't be loved or accepted.  We learn to fake so many things... and sometimes faking helps us learn to be real, but wouldn't it be nicer if we didn't have to fake it in the first place, but we could be accepted as we are, with our honest strengths and weaknesses, and go from there?  ... The way God accepts us?

It's not that easy; I'm aware.  I think, though, that we can work on it.  We can start by admitting weakness in our daily lives.  If we don't know something or we haven't read something or we have a question... maybe we can learn to say so. :)  And maybe, if we can do that, others will feel that they can too, and we can work on accepting each other *with* our weaknesses.  We don't have to pretend to be perfect all the time, and we shouldn't expect perfection from others.  We can just be people--ourselves--fallible, but working hard to be better, and supporting each other in that process.

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