“One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.” Proverbs 13:7
When my cheerleading coach in high school asked me if I felt okay after noticing I had lost a considerable amount of weight, I told her everything was fine, even though it wasn’t. I hid the truth from my coach because I wanted to fit in, and I thought “looking better” on the outside would somehow make me feel less broken on the inside. Perfectionism at its finest for me was striving to be thin so people would love and accept me. I believed the lie that if I could paint myself as a perfect person, even to the extent of lying about certain things, that I could convince the outside world that I was worthy of being loved and accepted by them.
Eventually, trying to acquire the approval and love I so desperately wanted became a battle in my life. Suddenly, I no longer had the energy to fight. The more lies I told, the harder it became to keep track of all of them. Living in constant terror of slipping up wore me down. Embellishing the truth to make myself look better because I just “knew” people wouldn’t accept me for who I was, grew tiring. I finally reached a point where changing my dysfunctional cycle became necessary, and uncovering the truth of who I was and why I did what I did, was inescapable.
We should always try to show what we are and be what we seem. In learning how to be authentic, we find we don’t have to present ourselves in a certain way for people to accept us, respect us or even like us.
Unraveling lies we believe about ourselves instead of hiding behind them is crucial. In my case, I pretended to be okay when I wasn’t. Not only was that unhealthy, but it also wasn’t godly.
In what areas of your life are you less than honest? Have you recently caught yourself embellishing the truth in an attempt to acquire the love and approval you already deserve? Think about one area you can work on being more authentic, and then be transparent when the next opportunity arises.