The army of women who took to social media with the hashtag #MeToo.
The recovering addict, who when asked how he was doing replied, “I’m medium to fair.”
The girlfriend who called in the middle of the night to say she’d left her husband and found someone new.
The coach who admits the team is ill-prepared and its playbook is outdated.
Refreshingly honest— all of them. Their confessions like oxygen in the smog of noise and niceties.
Lately, I have a newfound appreciation for these brief encounters with honesty.
They are brave and something to behold at a time when being airbrushed and animated is applauded and celebrated. When social media hides or highlights secrets. There’s a reason KimYe, J-Rod, Bey and Jay routinely break the internet. It’s not just America’s insatiable appetite for the opulence of these couples; it’s about being the object of envy. Being honest, sharing our real is not nearly as delicious as the drug high of others watching, snap-chatting, and wishing they were him, her, them or us. Thing is, like filters that enhance photos, what we are often admiring, modeling or envying is sometimes not as it appears. Just as the conscientious grocery shopper reads the label before buying, so should the believer before buying in.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (Ephesians 4:25)
Why would God take the time to encourage us to be real with one another? Why would the Apostle Paul tell us to boast in our infirmities (2 Corinthians 12:9)? Because denying who we truly are is to deny God. Specifically, it is to reject His craftsmanship when we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). To tell a little white lie about our circumstances is to publicly deny His miraculous power to heal. To Photoshop our fears and failures for friends and family is to edit our faith in one another; it’s a missed opportunity to help one another.
“A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
There’s nothing wrong with admiring the hustle of celebrity couples or sucking in our gut for a group photo as long as we avoid subtle and seemingly harmless idolatry. Worshiping at the altar of fill-in-the-blank breeds discontent, ingratitude, and jealousy. As we spend time with loved ones this holiday season and begin the new year, let’s look for opportunities to be refreshingly honest with one another. Let’s surround ourselves with people who are made real. And make the most of the moments when brutal, beautiful honesty can make a real change.