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Honesty, Risk and Friendship

Don’t you just love the honesty of children? If you want to really know the truth about your appearance, just ask my 6-year-old daughter. She is brutally honest. Thankfully, she hasn’t figured out that what’s on the outside should be any different than what’s on the inside. She is refreshing because truth is refreshing. Perhaps that’s what Jesus meant when He said, “The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” A child is completely honest about everything.

On the other hand, the truth doesn’t come as easily for adults. We spend quite a bit of time convincing others we are better than we really are. Our stock answer, “Everything is fine,” is designed to effectively shut out most people from seeing our true status. We want people to think the best of us. We’ll take it a step further by developing a persona rather than shaping our personality. An adult developing a persona to hide their mess is like a child who wears a costume and make-believes an alter-identity. The difference is the child usually knows the difference between the real world and the fantasy world. Adults begin believing the lies.

That’s why Christ-centered friendships are so important. Every person needs at least one friend who has been given a backstage pass, so to speak, to every area of their heart. We need a friend who can be brutally honest with us and point out when we’re hiding behind a façade.

Why is this hard for us? Why is it so tough to give an all-access pass to our lives? To give that level of access we must trust explicitly. In human relationships, there is no trust without risk. It is risky to let down our guard and let people see what a mess we really are. It’s a risk to our pride. It’s risky to let someone ask us the tough questions. What if they find out we’re really a fake?

It is risky, and it is absolutely necessary. Sharing our mess with a true friend leads to freedom that few experience. God wants to shape us, and He uses friends we trust to do that. The only thing keeping us from experiencing this kind of relationships is fear. It’s time to take a risk.

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