The most inspirational and encouraging people I know – and frankly the people I want to do life with daily, are people who are interested in being real and raw and having genuine relationships. Don’t hear that as snobbery… I’m guilty of “preening and posturing” at times – in the age of social media, I’m not sure if any of us have escaped the temptation. But what an exhausting way to live! Trying to maintain a certain “image” only steals from our ability to connect with people and have real community and it’ll eventually isolate us to the point of severe loneliness. While I believe it’s extremely important to stay positive and focus on the good and the lovely, I also believe there’s a way to do that while still being real. I hope the excerpt below from my favorite devotional “Out of the Spin Cycle” by Jen Hatmaker encourages you as much as it did me to maintain authenticity. And if you’re in the thick of motherhood, I highly recommend purchasing her devotional, it is amazing!
“We are masters at propping up our lives, spinning a thread of truth into an elaborate tapestry of grandeur – when in fact, during young motherhood most of us live in what my girlfriend Loren calls a “poop storm.” Just saying.
Jesus understood this tendency, as the religious leaders during his day were characterized by their constant preening and posturing, presenting an image that had precious little to do with reality. What other people thought of them and how they were perceived became supreme, and they sacrificed greatly to maintain their image.
Wait, what? The Pharisees sacrificed? That’s right. They gave up genuine relationships, first and foremost. They never operated like real humans, so no one could relate to them honestly. They created paranoia in everyone they spoke to. Consequently, people pretended around the Pharisees as much as the Pharisees pretended around other people. They must have been the loneliest people on earth.
This principle holds true today. When we operate from the central concern of being seen a certain way, we can’t develop healthy relationships in the messy soil of reality – the only place they’ll grow. Presenting a perfect, fake life to others generates fear in our own hearts and intimidation in everyone else’s , and creates nice, fake relationships – with our friends, with our family members, even with our own children.”