One thing about social media is that you typically only see one side of a person; the side they want you to see. I’ve been guilty of it many times. But I want to take a few moments in this post tonight to reveal myself. To take off masks.
There have been moments in my life where I’ve lived a double life; a life that I know I should live, and a life that I knew others wanted me to live. A life that would probably turn people away from me, and then a life I knew others would be attracted to. I have failed in many areas of life, and one of those areas I’ve failed at the most is speaking up and speaking the truth…no matter the cost. This internal battle has led me to a place in life where I’ve felt conflicted, convicted, and imprisoned. Shackled by my former self and still afraid to speak truth, and struggling to break free from that former person and truly be the man, husband, and father I know I need to be. It has led to periods of depression, something I’ve dealt with since my teenage years, personal turmoil, and at times an internal agony I can’t really describe in words.
Posting on my own personal social media page, I try and share a little bit of this truth that I’ve known my entire life but only within the last couple of years has it become a true burden. But I share it often with a strong sense of apprehension. I never want to come across as self-righteous or condescending. I never want anyone to think that I view myself with a holier-than-thou attitude, or that I am spiritually above anyone. I most assuredly am not.
Every time I sit to write a blog post or social media post, I ask how it will be perceived. Sometimes one slips through the cracks and I find myself going back later and removing it. The post didn’t have the intended effect I had hoped for. Sometimes I will take a good while to write something, but then scrap the entire thing because I don’t want others to read it and get the idea that I think I’m above any of them. I sometimes am so excited to put something down on “paper” and share it with others, I don’t think it through all the way.
Who am I then? I’m just like anyone who is reading this. I’m a human being trying the best way I know how to make it through today. I’m a person trying the best way I know to somehow effect someone else’s life in a positive way. I’m not better. I fail more often than I sometimes lead onto. But I still somehow try the next day to start over again and finish that day better than I did the day before. Again, I fail time and time again.
One thing that has become a reality in my life, is the fact that being a Christian doesn’t stop at the moment of conversion. It’s not a badge I can wear and then conveniently put in my pocket or take it out depending on the crowd I’m in. I have to own it. Jesus told people to follow Him. He didn’t need a fan club. He doesn’t need my approval or applause. He said, “Follow Me.” Part of following Him is a daily commitment. Like He said in the verse below, you and I must daily take up our cross and follow Him. Will we stumble and fall flat on our faces many days? You bet.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”Luke 9:23, KJV
What other side are you afraid to show? Have you been just like me and hidden a side of yourself because you’re afraid what others might say? Because it’s not the socially or culturally accepted thing at the moment? Remember light is meant to shine. It’s not intended to be kept secret or under your jacket.