Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Keeping it Real

photo by

I recently read a short, thought-provoking piece by Becky Eldridge on the many “30 Days of Thankfulness” challenges that crop up during November. Becky praised the concept of recognizing all that we have been given by our generous Heavenly Father. And then she asked, “I wonder how many of our human relationships would last if we kept all our conversations at the level of thanks? Relationships move to a different level when we risk being vulnerable, when we have a deep sharing of heart, and when we have a space to voice not only what we are thankful for, but also our lingering questions, our desires, and our struggles.”

She’s right. A relationship which is less than open and honest soon feels shallow and fake, eventually losing its importance.

Likewise, I wonder how many of our human relationships would last if we rarely recognized and expressed our thanks for all the positive, wonderful aspects of our lives, including the relationship itself? Constant grumbles, criticism, and needs causes a relationship to become burdensome, dreary, and unwelcome.

I find I am sometimes guilty of these unhealthy extremes, not only in my interactions with people, but also in my communication with God. At times, I fear admitting to God how I honestly feel—let down, doubt-filled, angry, scared to death, empty, blah. Other times I go on and on complaining about this and ranting about that.

I can pretend all is well with my world, outwardly “counting my blessings” while inwardly listing my woes. But God sees through that. I also can allow the struggles of yesterday to block out the blessings of today, whining about what I “wish” were different and failing to see the fresh God-sends right in front of me. “Tsk, tsk,” says God, with a slow shake “No” of his head.

Psalm 139:2 says that God knows our thoughts, He perceives what we are thinking. So why not be honest with Him, why not keep it real? If we truly want a living, breathing relationship with Jesus, that is what it takes—moving to a different level where, like Becky shared, we risk being vulnerable, where we have a deep sharing of heart, and where we voice both what we are thankful for, and our lingering questions, desires, and struggles.

Be encouraged!

©2016 Pamela D. Williams