I was in a men’s small group at church this past Tuesday night. The teacher had just given a very strong exhortation on being “real” with one another, especially as church leaders. At the end of his ever-so-eloquent sermon, I found myself shifting in my seat and wrestling deeply in my soul. I needed to be real.
Earlier in the week I had found myself caught in a sin, a lie and then a cover-up (I know, I felt like a politician). But the fact remained that I had a clear choice to make, right then, right there. I can either experience freedom and wholeness or I can continue to be entangled in shame, anger, frustration and ultimately erode the relationships around me that are most important. I decided to be real.
By the way, it was Mike Tyson that made that incredulous statement in the Irish Daily News, not me. It certainly could have been me. Maybe the words would be a little different (a little), but I certainly could put a bold statement out there that might leave a few people wondering about my welfare… But It’s interesting how we read something like this and immediately go to a place of judgement.
“What’s wrong with that guy?”
“How can he act like that?”
“Sure glad I’m not like him…”
But maybe I am? Or perhaps you are? The real question is this; how honest are you with yourself? How honest are you with what is truly going on in your life? There is a huge difference between what we portray on the outside and what is really taking place in the shadows of our lives.
I’m actually proud of Mike in a way. He’s honest. He’s a mess, for sure, but he’s a breath of fresh air. He’s being real. Real about his struggles, real about his shortcomings. And I see this as an example for you and me. Of course we aren’t to pursue the “Tyson” lifestyle, but we are to live the example of being real. And that’s exactly how he rolls…
Some of us struggle with sex, others with drugs or alcohol, maybe some with shopping or gossip. The fact of the matter is that we all have yucky things going on deep down inside of us that we wish never existed, or at least we could control
I have to tell you though, It’s amazing how the truth completely set me free that night! I experienced love, grace and acceptance by an incredible group of guys who walk the same roads I do. And I love them all for it.
Friends, we are faced with the daily choice to either live a real life or to live in the shadows of shame and guilt. We need the truth! We also need to embrace the freedom that comes from living real. The fruit of living this way is simple, we grow!
So, what are you addicted to? Mike says booze, sex and drugs. I say let’s all be addicted to being real. It’s the only way to freedom…
#realwithourselves #realwithgod #realwithothers #sandalschurch