[You can find part one of Unveiled here]
By nature I’m a quiet introvert. I love to write, alone, in my study. So these past few months have stretched me beyond my comfort zone. Thanks to the publication of Walk with Me: Pilgrim’s Progress for Married Couples, my name is on websites like Amazon. and Barnes and Noble, and on this one too, along with details about my life. My picture is on the cover of the book.
Sometimes when I think about this new public aspect to my life, I feel a burst of panic. I wish I could turn the clock back, and still be at my desk writing, dreaming of publication.
Last week, I was interviewed live on a national radio program. For a person who likes to craft one well-edited sentence after another, this prospect felt just a tad unsettling–as if I’d be having batting practice in a major league stadium packed with people I didn’t know. Basically, my worry boiled down to one simple question. After listening to my unscripted interview, what would people think of me?
The truth is transparency isn’t easy for me. I prefer to control my image so only my good parts show. I want people to think well of me. I want people to be impressed. I want people to believe I have my act together. And at the same time, I don’t want anyone to see my back side, and certainly not my selfish, proud, arrogant side.
Jesus didn’t have this problem. He was the ultimate WYSIWYG.** There was no gap between His inner and outer self, between His front side and His back side. At the beginning of John’s gospel, John the Baptist points out Jesus and says, “Here is the One so far above me that I’m not worthy to tie His shoelaces.”
That’s setting the bar high, but Jesus didn’t seem to mind. When two of John’s disciples wanted to know where Jesus was staying, He simply told them, “Come and see.” They stayed with Him and the next thing you know, they were telling their friends, “We have found the Messiah.” I guess that happens when the Son of God exposes His sinless self.
For me, it’s different. If you spent some time with me, sooner or later [probably sooner], you’d see that back side I try to keep hidden. You’d discover that the weed of selfishness still sprouts up. If you don’t believe me, just ask the man who lives with me 24/7.
You shouldn’t be surprised by this of course. And I should stop trying to impress people with my righteousness. Because the only truth about myself that really matters is this: the grace of Jesus covers my sins. That is one fact that needs absolutely no justification, no smoke and mirrors. There’s no way I can spin God’s grace so I will look better.
I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20-21, The Message
**Links and Notes
Part One of Unveiled where I tell all [or almost all]
My interview on Chris Fabry Live [I’m hour two]
WYSIWYG stands for “What You See Is What You Get”