Post details: Have you exposed your inner self?


Permalink 06:45:34 pm, Categories: GraceHead teaching, By Lisa
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Have you exposed your inner self?

Hi all,
Reading Pam's blog about her skipping church, and how widely she opened her heart to everyone, and then reading Steve's comment about it--that got me to thinking.

Once upon a time, long long ago... (okay, it was only about 6 years back) a chatter and I were discussing the pros and cons of revealing too much of our hearts to people. He argued the point that we were not to expose our hearts, because in doing so, would leave us open to attack. He even went further to back his claim with an Old Testament proverb, about guarding our hearts, because from within flows the wellspring of life. I can't quote the verse verbatim, but when I looked it up--I took it as wearing a breastplate, so that the arrows wouldn't pierce the heart, hence killing us. I don't know if that's what it means or not--the physical literal sense. We need our hearts to continue pumping blood throughout out bodies.

The way this whole discussion got started, was the fact that every time I spoke from my heart, he'd mention, "Guard your heart" I never knew what he meant by that. He was a nice enough fella at the time, so whatever it meant, I figured he had good intentions by it, although I had not a clue what he was getting at. I finally broke down one day and just out and out ASKED him. He told me that he saw where I was very open with my thoughts, my fears, my likes dislikes... well, just everything. He was concerned that I might be setting myself up for a great hurt. I suppose he had a point. Just like Pam mentioned her thoughts about church attendance, who KNOWS how anyone will respond? It could be good, bad, sarcastic, whatever. Once we lay our hearts on the line, it's there for anyone to see, and we run the risk of rejection disapproval, etc. Who wants that?

However, I had a different mindset than he had. My thoughts were--if my dependency is on Christ, and what HE thinks of me, won't the rejection of others seem less painful, if my heart is on Christ? Of course, that's a moment by moment thing, and rejection still hurts. However, wouldn't it serve to remind me that maybe my heart isn't as focused on Christ as I thought it was? Like Pam mentioned about former friends being used as tools-of-the-moment, rejection can also be viewed as the same. Up to that time, I had never experienced rejection to the point where it cut me to the core. Mind you, I HAD been rejected before, but it didn't really mean that much, because the person that rejected me didn't mean that much to me. In fact, I had went so far as to use scripture to defend MY outlook on it. The peace of God, that passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ our Lord. HE will guard our hearts, I don't have to.

That was then, and this is now. Since that conversation, I have had one major rejection that has threatened to do me in. It too, was used as the tool-of-the-moment to show me my weakness, and therefore my need to depend on Christ. I didn't realize how much I had come to depend on this couple, but when they suddenly decided they'd had a belly full of me, they cut ties and sent me on my way. I was devastated. Like Pam mentioned, because we were in Christ, friendship was Christ centered, it'd last forever, right? Wrong! To this day, there has been no reconciliation, but it doesn't bother me as much as it did. I guess as time goes by, God does heal the wounds we receive.

So then, where does that leave the heart baring experience? . If we get hurt, (And boy howdy!) then so be it. I have noticed since that ordeal, that my heart does seem to clam up quickly if I suspect ill intentions of the other party. I don't like that. I don't like hiding. Not to say that we should bare all our dirty laundry for the public eye, but are we being truthful if we hide our real self? Of course we share things with close friends, but even then we run the risk of being hurt. But I have found time and time again, that when I DO bare my heart, others that are in Christ are drawn to me, because I'm being "real". I also admire that trait in others, again, such as Pam did when she revealed something very personal to her. It's nice to know we're not the only ones that feel such and such about different things. It's important to share our inner most worries at times, and LET the other folks see our vulnerabilities--just don't forget that our heart's guard comes from Christ, not ourselves.


Comment from: Pam [Member]
Hey Lisa,

I've shared my testimony here before and my past is not attractive. I let more mature Christians convince me that I shouldn't share where Christ found me and lifted me from. They said that it would sound like I was bragging about my past and that most people wouldn't understand. No one looks at me today or talks to me and thinks that I was once a junkie, so it was easy to pretend. But when I cover my testimony up, I am hiding the miracle that Christ has worked in me and it is for no other reason but pride; not only mine but the pride of the Christians who advised me as such. That kind of pride is not concerned with glorifying God but with glorifying man and I no longer want anything to do with that kind of pride.

I too want to have discretion, to know when to speak and when not too but that discernment doesn't come at the whim of others but at the direction of the Holy Spirit. Following that direction doesn't always mean we'll get the response we desire either but it will be God's work that is forwarded and not our own agenda. I don't want my faith to exalt me, I want to exalt Jesus and the only way to do that is to share how He works in my life and that can only come from honesty and not pretense.

Religion and the pride it engenders built pretense in me but God loves me and He shattered the pretense that I might lift Jesus in my life.

I also see the longing to lift Jesus in you, Lisa. Our hearts are guarded I think, when we remember it isn't about us but about Him.

Permalink 09/17/06 @ 19:16
Comment from: lisa [Member]
Amen, Pam. You articulate what's going on inside of me so well! That's exactly it--I DON'T want to exalt myself, but rather, Jesus. When I clam up, that's exactly who I am exalting--me. By hiding the 'garbage' that Jesus has delievered me from, because I'd rather folks not KNOW I was partaking of such garbage to have to BE delivered from, is from sheer pride. But, you're exactly right... we need discernment in when to share and when to shush. Sometimes, if we share too much, we cause the other person discomfort for whatever reason, and it's best not to share. But, when we feel that prodding from the Holy Spirit to share a certain something, we can be sure it's for the good of the Body of Christ, although not necessarily what WE'd call good. But you know? The times that God has prompted me to share, and I would share, with my heart beating in my mouth it seemed, there was an instant peace following the sharing session. And more times than not, the person that was shared with, responded with love, not bitterness. That's God's perfect timing, I do believe...
Thanks for sharing, Pam :oX
Permalink 09/17/06 @ 19:51
Comment from: Len Hummel [Visitor] ·
This is a comment from my heart to Trent and Pam. I need to say this because you have touched on a very important point in the reality of genuine Christianity: I have been betrayed many, MANY times by people who claimed to be "brethren in Christ" and who claimed "to walk in His Love." - they have proven to be false on BOTH counts. ... of course: there *are* precious exceptions, - so I fully acknowledge that. HERE IS MY MAJOR POINT: I would have to clearly contrast my experience of CHRISTIAN LOVE, care, and understanding between my friend and brother, Trent, and my supposed friend and sister, Pam.
Trent has never turned on me; Trent has never mocked me with others; Trent has never joined in with mockers and enemies to assail or insult or condemn me. Not once. Not even close.
Pam, I must say in all honesty, is very much not the same. My experience is that she would not hesitate to knife me in the back or join in with those who would rail or condemn or assail me: this is not good. And I am saying it plainly because it needs to be said, ... not just "to get it off my chest" but TO MAKE THIS REALITY AN ISSUE with which Pam needs to come to terms before GOD and Jesus Christ, Whom I serve.
I forgive Pam. But I have seen her betray me and condemn me more than a few times and it is EXTREMELY painful. Especially because (generally) I have high regard for her thoughts and writings. ... but I do NOT commend her for the way she (and some of her friends) have treated me.
Amy (over at Mike's forum) would be another fine example of a Christian that I have never known to truly betray me or turn on me. Kate also. Paul. Bear. Mike. and a few others I might name. - I commend them. They have shown the reality and maturity of their love in Christ.
BEWARE of how "popular" and "well-thought-of" you would like to be seen or known in the eyes of those who attack and assail Christians. - they will surely compliment you on "how spiritual you are" and "how right you are" to agree in your condemnations of someone like me and my firm stand for righteousness and BIBLICAL TRUTH.
Beware. Because GOD judges those who condemn His servants and those who love and serve Him. ... and I do not believe in false-humility: I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ: WHOLLY HIS in spirit, soul, and body.
PLEASE PRAY about what I have just shared.
Shalom in Sar Shalom Yeshua, The LORD. May He convict us ALL where we are wrong: betrayal is one of THE WORST of those wrongs.
Permalink 09/18/06 @ 03:34
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·

Give me a chance and I'll surely betray you. I've betrayed most everybody else. Last Thursday I betrayed my wife, in front of house-guests just so I could save face. She was so hurt that bags were packed and except for the miracle of spiritual healing through the Lord Jesus, there wouldn't be much of a marriage left ... but surprizing or not, this happens with regular frequency.

Simply put, I cannot be counted on by you or my wife, or mother, nor father, not sisters, nor brothers to be true and consistent.

I am one event away at all times to showing a really ugly reality. ... I just need a circumstance to reveal it, and that is the way it goes.

The plain truth is that as low as my regard is for myself, it can be no higher for Pam, Lisa, Mike, and even you. We are all equally as fragile and weak. We are all like sheep going astray, and staying astray except by the miracle of the Good Shepherd guiding us back.

Lets find ways to creatively awaken our fellow sheep to the nudging of the Spirit to come back, and stay in the fold ... if only for the moment.

Len, I hope this is a great place to discuss how rotten we are without Him, and how frequent He rescues us from ourselves. It seems to me that His love can even be demonstrated in how needy we are for Him ... that He would make us totally incapable of the least bit of AGAPE without His intervention in our hearts. The fact of the matter is that I simply have found the end of my love, and it didn't last long. No matter how hard I try, there isn't enough love in me to love my wife as the Lord loves the church ... so I say "I CAN'T" ... and at that point ... I hear "Trent, I never said that you could." ... He waits for our emptiness to reveal what He alone can miraculously accomplish in us, and He longs to do it every minute of every day.

So, now that I recognize that He is doing this work in me ... and I am helpless to do this work in myself ... howbeit that any of us (while weak in and of ourselves) can serve to perform this work in others?
We cannot.
We can't serve as our own Holy Spirit, so don't expect much success from my attempts to be yours nor Pams. We just need to turn to Him, and with humble acknowledgement that He must guide our paths ... see if there is anything we can do ... to help a brother and sister.
We just want to see a bit of Jesus come out and play through them ... and we endure years of sin to see only a moment of Jesus from them.

It is totally worth the wait ... amen?

Doesn't the Lord show that same patience with us, and isn't it a blessing when we can show that to each other?

Jesus will come out and play ... in every single sheep ... even if only when they say "Jesus is the Lord." Lets awaken that in each other, knowing that can remedy WHATEVER has gone before.


Ripening still,
Permalink 09/18/06 @ 19:53
Comment from: lisa [Member]
Well, Trent, I have to admit, I'm right there with ya brother. Too many times, more times than I can count--I have betrayed my friends and loved ones, and.. like you say, probably will again. Welcome to the real world. As often as I can point fingers to people who hurt me, there may as well be a mirror there, reflecting my fingers pointing back and me.

The thing that hurts the worse I think? Is that once upon a time, a couple long, long ago, betrayed my friendship (yes, I had built up MEGA unrealistic expectations on said couple), and in anger, I lashed back out to them with everything I had. I felt justified, I felt righteous--after all, I didn't do anything wrong! (insert self-righteous indignation on my part here) It took years for me to realize... I was the sheep that needed nudging. The things I said to them--I cringe and want to just hold my head in shame. To this day, there has been no reconciliation, but that doesn't bother me. What bothers me, is the way I treated them. Definitely not the way Christ treated the people that were flogging Him, mocking Him, or any of the other wonderful things they were doing to Him. Yup, I had betrayed a child of God, as well. Just because they did it, didn't give me the right to do it. But... do it I did.

I can continue to beat myself up over it, or else accept--with a grateful heart, the forgiveness Jesus provided for me, all those years ago. Although I screw up on a daily basis, I can rest assured that my hope is in Him, and not my works.

Trent, I long for the day that I can show patience to other people the way Christ has shown with me..

Ripening right along with ya..
Permalink 09/18/06 @ 20:21
Comment from: Len Hummel [Visitor] ·
Thanks for the input, Trent. But here is my point: PEOPLE NEED TO REPENT [like Peter] when they BETRAY a friend or a Christian. Excuses are no good. they need to repent and make amends. ... and I'll bet just about anything that you did so with your wife.

See my point?

Permalink 09/18/06 @ 23:35
Comment from: Pam [Member]

In my heart I have never betrayed you though I know I'm not above doing something that might hurt you and be perceived on your part as betrayal. The forum you are referring to is a very contentious place and I try hard to walk a line in there that does not take sides with anyone, though I may at times comment upon the contentious spirit that reigns there. Sometimes, I avoid conversations that would require me to take a side and if you have seen that as avoiding you, I'm sorry. The comments that I do make in there are few except for the conversations that I have with nonbelievers. It isn't a place I go to for fellowship but instead a place I go to uphold Jesus Christ.

I don't want to get into any long winded letter in which I above all things defend myself; it is to self that I must die and to defend self is an attempt to prevent that necessary death. I am a sinner saved by grace and my actions are never perfect. I'm sorry for anything that I said that seemed to be like mocking. I never intended to mock you and I read few of the posts that are along that line. I won't appologise for being friends with Butch. He and I have a great deal in common and I also think he cares about you, Len. I know that people are quite cruel in the way that they treat you and they have treated you that way for years. I don't like it and I have corrected people for doing so even if you haven't noticed. However, I'm not there to defend you, Len. I'm there to proclaim Christ to those who don't know Him. I am an ambassador for Christ I am no mediator between persons.

If you tell me what I said that so offended you, I promise to take responsibility for my words and do all within my power to make things right but I won't put myself in the middle of personal disputes.

In Christ,
Permalink 09/19/06 @ 00:23
Comment from: Len Hummel [Visitor] ·
Pam, yes. you offended me by siding with people that I KNOW have mocked and slandered me. Do you owe me an apology? yes. Same as I would owe you the same if I had done the same to you.
You know very well that I have always spoken well of you, ... and even voted for you as one of the best Christian examples on Mike's forum; but for what you have done to me in this regard: I do not commmend you: it was wrong and it was hurtful.
In any case, (as I have already said) I forgive you; but this just came up because I needed to say it for both your sake and my own as well. It is NEVER right to side with those who mock and/or slander and attack others...all the more so if the attacked are brethren in Christ.
I am sorry this came up here, but I felt the need to say it, and I'm sorry if it was hurtful for you to see and hear it. Betrayal and a stab to the back is a very very hurtful thing within the Body of Christ.
Let's start over then. apologies is always a good place to start.
Permalink 09/19/06 @ 06:33
Comment from: Len Hummel [Visitor] ·
If your friends Butchgro and Wendy "care about me" and "love me in the Lord," then they certainly have a very VERY strange way of showing it. It looks an awfully lot more like self-righteous condemnations and personal attacks than "love" to me. I'm just being honest.
If they truly want to be on good terms and be reconciled, they certainly need to do something DIFFERENT from what they have been doing. It's simply a fact. I forgive them. - that doesn't mean I *like* what they do.
Permalink 09/19/06 @ 06:48
Comment from: Pam [Member]

I do appologize for hurthing you. I don't know what it was that hurt you because I didn't intentionally side with anyone against you. I think that you misunderstand me. I don't always read all of the posts and maybe my responding to one particular post within a context of posts that I really didn't understand made it seem that way. I don't take sides and I didn't side against you. I don't care about being the best Christian example, it's not a contest. I really can't judge anyone else's hearts and I don't want to talk about anyone else.

If I had intentionally hurt you, I would be embarrased that you brought it here but I have nothing to be ashamed of because I wasn't trying to hurt you. God knows my heart. However, just as Paul said, we often do what we don't want to do and I'm sorry you've been hurt by what I said.

Permalink 09/19/06 @ 08:17
Comment from: Len [Visitor]
Apology accepted. Now I only have one thing to say to you and the rest of the people at Delphi: "THE WAY YOU TREAT me: is THE WAY YOU TREAT JESUS."

It's A FACT in the sight of GOD. - and almost no one has considered that fact up to now. But I KNOW that it is true. - THAT is why apologies and reconciliation is so very very important. - not excuses and/or "I apologize, ... but ITS' ALL YOUR FAULT." (!) ... *real* apologies and a desire to be healed and reconciled.

Apology accepted.

GOD has many different ministries and anointings and callings within The Body.

Permalink 09/20/06 @ 02:52
Comment from: Len [Visitor] ·
Something very very awesome is going on in the spiritual-interior realm of the earthly. Let us walk in Love, in wisdom, and discernment BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, ... and with a truly surrendered life.

* The way you treat me, ... is the way you treat JESUS. *

- for those who CONFESS and own The LORD Jesus Christ, - this is entirely true.

and JESUS *is* "The Baptizer in The Holy Ghost *and* Fire." - more so at the end of the Age than any other time.

Selah and Shalom.
Permalink 09/20/06 @ 02:59
Comment from: Len [Visitor] ·
OK. I think this was moved for whatever reason. Anyway, it is nice to have some REAL from-the-heart conflict resolution that involves complete honesty and a willingness to apologize and own-up for real, imagined, or even *UNINTENDED offenses: *they are REAL nevertheless. and it is important to deal with them with a transparent willingness to resolve and grow and go on. Offenses are painful; NOT DEALING WITH THEM is even more painful and harmful. - I think we all know that, ... but it is good to be reminded.

* and yes: in regards to EVERY Christian born of the Spirit: * The way you treat me: is the way your treat JESUS. * * THE WAY YOU TREAT A CHRISTIAN, ... is the way you treat JESUS. *

apologies ... and reaching out and reaching back is important. ... VERY important.

Shalom in Sar Shalom Yeshua ha adOn EL ElyOn. - He Is LORD, ... and very very righteous AS WELL AS gracious.

And this too I have always found to be so very true: there is ALWAYS mercy to the merciful, the honest, and the repentant. ... but the reverse is a very very different matter.
Permalink 09/22/06 @ 05:17
Comment from: Len [Visitor] ·
and I love you all with the Love of the LORD. ... imperfectly, ... but still ripening ... like always.

all the best
and Shalom.
Permalink 09/22/06 @ 05:23
Comment from: Len [Visitor] ·
you're missed here. ... hope you are alright.

Drop us a line.

Permalink 02/27/07 @ 09:43
Comment from: ADELPITER [Visitor] ·
Permalink 03/29/07 @ 18:31

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