Living for Christ as a Youth Day 7: Being Open & Honest
“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, NIV)
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18, ESV)
This topic can be a hard one for younger people, because talking about feelings and what we’re going through isn’t necessarily something we like to do. It’s not my favorite thing, to put myself out there with my struggles, because I ultimately worry about what others might think and if they’ll see me differently. It’s so powerful to remember that we are forgiven by Christ, and that means all that we have done and will do has been cleansed by His blood.
Are you someone who struggles to share their feelings too? If you don’t struggle with that, I’m a little jealous, but I’m also happy for you, because it’s wonderful to be able to articulate what you’re thinking and feeling. Maybe when you’re watching something and getting a little emotional, you try and cover it up so those around you don’t see. If you’ve done that before, you’re not alone. But this covering up of emotions can start to weigh us down.
I think it is so important to strive to be open and honest with family, friends, and loved ones around us. We are one body in Christ, and we are to “speak truthfully” with each believer (Ephesians 4:25). Oftentimes, they can see when we’ve got something going on that we might not be honest about, as we plaster on the smiling face and the excited mood when we aren’t feeling it. I have been there, and if that’s something you are currently experiencing, my heart goes out to you! Take it from me, it is SO much easier when you share with trusted family and friends what you’re going through. They can support you, spend time talking things out with you, and most importantly, bring your needs to the Lord in prayer.
Now you might still be thinking, Well, maybe I can tell them about some things, but I definitely can’t tell them this secret; no one can ever know. I promise that if they are your sister or brother in Christ, being honest with them will only deepen their respect for you. How humbling is it when someone you care about and love shares something so deep with you? Let me also put it this way: if it were one of your dear friends and they had a burden weighing them down, wouldn’t you want to help them with that burden? Wouldn’t you want to bear some of that weight with them, so they no longer had to be crushed under that load? Well, friend, your friends feel the same way for you! They long to have a deep and honest relationship, and they wouldn’t want you to be suffering silently all on your own.
I encourage you to also be honest with Christ—He already knows what’s on your mind. He’s seen you thinking about it, maybe even losing sleep over it, and He longs for you to come to Him with it. We serve a righteous and holy God, but He is also our Father who loves us and cherishes us. When our hearts are hurting, that doesn’t please the Lord, and I often think it makes His heart a little sad (and I mean this in the most reverent way possible). We have the promise from His Word that He won’t turn us away. In Psalm 145, we read that He is “near to all who call to Him,” and what a beautiful thing that is! When we come to Him with a burden on our heart, there isn’t some waiting process we have to go through. We don’t have to live a perfect life for ten days and then get to come to Him with our need—it is immediate.
I hope you don’t think I’m sitting here writing this as if I’m some sort of master at sharing feelings—I’m not. Many times, those around me will get the truth out of me after a few conversations, but I’m so thankful for it every single time. Don’t waste any more energy or lose sleep over the one thing on your mind; share it and get it off your chest. Lean on your brothers and sisters around you and, most importantly, take it to the Lord. He longs for you to share it with Him, and He will never turn you away.