If I’m going to be honest (and I didn’t name this blog Tea & Truth for no reason), we Good Christian Girls have a problem. Let me explain.
We’ve all been to parties where food is served (and, let’s face it, every good party serves food). But then this phenomenon happens. Suddenly, everyone realizes that only one cream puff remains on the buffet table and the tension practically becomes tangible. This singular cream puff will get more longing looks than the diamonds in a Tiffany window display, yet no one will dare to reach out and take the delicacy. Why?
Because it’s RUDE!
Or, at least, even if we don’t truly believe that it’s rude, we don’t want to be perceived as selfish enough to take the last cream puff that someone else may have possibly once upon a time wanted more than we did. (And, girl, if you’re at my house and you want the last cream puff, EAT IT! It’s meant to be enjoyed! And quite frankly, I don’t want to clean up the leftovers.)
We Good Christian Girls want to have good reputations. Who doesn’t like being well thought of? First Peter 2:12 tells us to make our “conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Having a good reputation is part of our witness to the world – that’s pretty important! But…
Once again, the enemy has gotten ahold of something beneficial and twisted it into an ugly reflection of what God intended for us.Click to tweet
Our reputations have become so important to us that our honesty is in danger of extinction. And it’s no small wonder.
• I can’t confess that sin; I might hurt my reputation.
• I can’t say “no” if my schedule is clear; that would be rude.
• I can’t tell my friend that I really think she could have handled the situation in a more Christ-like way; her feelings might get hurt.
• I can’t disagree with someone to their face; that might cause controversy.
That’s a lot of weight we Good Christian Girls carry in the name of having good reputations. But these are also burdens God never intended for us to bear.
Relationships languish when honesty and communication are lacking. We Good Christian Girls want to get along with each other so much (good end) that we’re fake (bad means). And, if you’re like me, you’re liable to go crazy trying to figure out subtle nuances and what people really meant by what they said. Today, telling the truth and sharing differing opinions are construed as combative – which Good Christian Girls simply aren’t.
But if we aren’t being real, we aren’t building real relationships as God intended. Good Christian Girls can both disagree on certain topics and still love each other as sisters in Christ. If we freely and honestly share our lives with one another, God is honored.
A few years ago, I went to a Noel Coward play in San Francisco. That night, I heard a line that gave me the chills and has stuck with me ever since: “It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” When God told us to have good reputations, it wasn’t at the expense of letting our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no” (Matthew 5:37), but rather in harmony with it. In other words, say what you mean and mean what you say with all the love of Christ in your heart (Ephesians 4:15). We earn good reputations through the hard work of exhibiting godly morals like honesty.
When God called Moses to speak up, it was to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 3-4). Moses poured his worries out to God. Not as concerns though; as excuses. In response, God comforted Moses. He promised to be with him. He promised to give him the right words. He explained every detail of what would happen to prepare him. He gave Moses not one, but two signs. But even still, Moses didn’t trust God.
Isn’t this our Good Christian Girl problem, too? When we really get to the bottom of it, we don’t trust God. To follow through with His promises. To be with us. To give us the right words. To give us strength and confidence. If we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s easier for us to care more about preserving our reputations than to step out in faith to live out God’s Word.
It’s almost like we’re humans in need of grace (something I’ve found is more difficult to extend to myself than it is to receive from God – but that’s a topic for a different blog)!
Thankfully, God has given us grace. His Holy Spirit will always be with us and guide us. So, when we feel like honesty will cause division in our relationships, let’s call that what it is: a lie from the enemy. Honesty may be painful in the moment, but if a conflict has Christ at the center of it, eventually growth and trust will result and relationships will flourish.
When we fall prey to the enemy’s lies, he prevents us from enjoying our God-given “cream puffs” – the blessings God has promised to bestow on us. Let’s break free from the lies and live the abundant life Christ has promised us!
How has God helped you break free from the enemy’s lies? Share in the comments below!
Family Radio Staff