Recently at the annual Presence Conference that my church holds I heard a message from Steven Furtick that really resonated with me. It was a message on Jacob and how until Jacob was real with who he was, stopped pretending to be his brother to get the blessing and stopped running from conflict, that God would not bless him.
He used this great analogy that has been paying around in my mind and made me think and challenged me again.
Here is how Furtick put it
We have our Frustrating Self – the self who is in the present, the one with flaws and failings that we see, but have not yet worked through.
We have our Future Self – the one who is more like Jesus, the one we are going to be when we lose 20 pounds, figure out how to always stay calm under pressure and have memorised all our favourite verses from Proverbs.
Then we have the self that spans the gap – all too aware of the frustrating self , wanting to be the future self and so pretends to be where we are not yet – the Fake Self.
The problem is the Fake Self cannot have a real connection with God or with People – because it is a FAKE !
I have always been challenged to be real – to not try to pretend to be anything I am not. The people pleaser in me loves to be my Fake Self to impress. The sanguine in me fears rejection wonders if anyone will still like me if I am real.
In the last 10 years especially I have learned some phrases that have helped me to be real – here they are
1. I don’t know
Whether in a class lecturing, in a meeting I am leading, at home looking after my nephews – I can express a total lack of knowledge and be OK.
2. I am sorry
I need to be able to actually admit I messed up and be OK – and then I need to go back to the person I messed up with and apologise. If I ignore it I am being my Fake Self, assuming everything I do is right – what bondage that is !
3. I am responsible
If I am being real I can take responsibility for my own decisions and actions and live with it.
In an era where we all image mange – making sure the photos on social media show us in the best light having the best time with the best people – there is huge pressure to be fake. (To fight this – the photo in this post is me in my new reading glasses, getting old, at the end of a day where the hair straightener died and the make-up has long since disappeared !)
Even this week I have been challenged to be real, to admit my struggles (to people who have the grace to deal with them), to know that Future Pam is coming but right now I am stuck with Frustrating Pam – but she is the one God can use .
Fake Pam is no use to anyone !
Lets all Flick the Fake this week – and be real with where we are at. Its the only way to move towards our future selves.
Love to hear your tips on being real.
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