Friday, December 11, 2009
I loved the movie Liar, Liar because it made me think about what would happen if we all started to tell the whole truth. One of the characteristics that make a successful person to me is one who is not afraid to tell the truth in love.
Forthrightness is another word I would use to describe a person of character. It means to be an honest, frank or direct person. My best friend is such a person and that's one of the things I love about her. You always know right where you stand. The other day she was in Subway and she made a comment that the sandwich would be a great deal if it only looked like the one in the advertisement. The young man at the counter immediately puffed up and said, "They do look just like that!" So she said, "Well then make me one that looks just like that, with the same amount of everything." Silence.... and then warily, "Well, okay...do you want the foot long?" "Yes," she said, "Just like the one on the picture." And he did! If he hadn't gotten so defensive I am sure she would have just let it go.
Sometimes it is very uncomfortable when we are confronted with the truth. Especially the truth about ourselves. When I decided to let God have ownership of a few things in my life a few years ago, it was painful. One thing he wanted me to address was my drinking. I always caught myself saying, "I have a glass of wine at dinner." But God kept nudging at my heart. The Holy Spirit was trying to confront me with the truth. I didn't have just one glass, I had 3. Every day! Back then I would go to Trader Joe's on a weekend and get 3 bottles of 2 buck chuck and be perfectly okay with it. Really happy in fact. But I sensed God prodding me with questions, or maybe I started to ask myself...."Would you be as happy without this? How easy would it be to give this up? Am I not enough for you? Would you give it up for Me?" His voice was soft but insistent. And He knew I was ready to listen.
So I gave it up. I gave up its power over me. I remember the day I surrendered. I was sitting in the backyard under the tree enjoying the sunset, the outdoor cat sitting by my side; the last light dipping below the wall. That moment was like a benchmark for me. I remember that evening very fondly even now.
It was and is crucial for me to be truthful to God, myself, and someone I trust to be a safe place who will hold me accountable. I have learned that I can have a glass of wine now and then. But this I do this cautiously and prayerfully and I now know that I can successfully live without it, one day at a time, and only with His help.
Until we get to Heaven we will always have weaknesses or "thorns" we have to deal with. But we are in good company....and we don't have to go it alone!
"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Cor. 12:8,9