Hi everyone. Rob here.
I’ve been thinking about my spiritual growth recently. I’m trying to assess where I’m at right now and what do I need to put in place to help me keep growing, now and into the future. It got me thinking about two types of people we need in our lives. The first are the people who let us be. These are people who we feel safe with. Our guards come down, our hearts come out from hiding and we reveal our authentic selves in their presence. We feel known, accepted and loved by these people. The second type are those who help us become. These people stretch us, challenge us, ask great questions, inspire us and see in us more than what we are right now. We find ourselves becoming better, more interesting, more loving people when we’re around them. Sometimes they’re the same people, but sometimes not.
Jesus, of course, was both of these. The vulnerable and hurting found Jesus to be a safe space where they found love, grace and healing. By providing a safe space for their hearts he was then able to bring the forgiveness and mercy that helped them to grow as people. To the Pharisees and teachers of the law though, Jesus was not a safe space. He would expose their hypocrisy and self-righteousness. He would make them uncomfortable. If they were willing they could have allowed this exposure to teach them and help them become.
We experience Jesus as both our safe space and the one who exposes us. He is our comforter who heals the broken-hearted, but he is also the true light that shines on our darkness that we desperately want to keep hidden. Jesus is a safe space when we recognise our need for God, and the one who feels like an antagonist when we’re fighting God. Jesus absorbs our blows and when we’ve exhausted ourselves, he will be the one who raises us up. In helping us become, Jesus will draw out the false self, the lies, the sin and the fear that keeps us trapped. As we become fully exposed Jesus will clothe us with his love, his acceptance and his grace. He will lead us into a fuller humanity. He will lead us to our true selves.
We live in an age where people are demanding the right to be themselves. The problem is very few of us are truly ourselves. The need to be must be accompanied by the journey of becoming. Jesus, the new human and the true human is the one who is our guide. We are asked to trust him. trust him when he comforts and when he exposes; when he affirms and when he thwarts; when he stands with our true self and stands against the false.
As we journey with Jesus we also need allies. We need people with whom we can be and people who help us become. Do you have these people in your life? If not, pray for them. Pray that you will recognise them and have the courage to reach out to them. Pray that they will show you Jesus. Pray that you will learn to be yourself and pray that you will become yourself, in the name of Jesus, for his kingdom’s sake.
Grace and peace everyone.