Tuesday, October 09, 2007

On Being Real

I have just enjoyed reading Brennan Manning's amazing classic 'The Ragamuffin Gospel'. In it he highlights the need for us to be real about ourselves and stop pretending that we have got it all together, because God's unconditional love flows constantly towards us whether we deserve it or not (and we don't!).

I try to say a similar thing in my own book Braving the Storm when I contrast the 'La La Land' where every prayer is answered just the way we want it with the reality of a life lived in a fallen world. Denial is such a dangerous folly because it robs us of the joy of knowing that we are accepted by a loving Father just as we are - though He loves us too much to leave us the way we are!

The problem we struggle with is one of image. Consider the image that this ID carrying guy has of himself. Hardly in touch with reality eh? Most of us try to project an image of ourselves that is not really in touch with what we truly are. In such circumstances we can't relax - we are constantly adjusting our image in the mirror to make sure that it fits with our preconceived idea of what we should look like. But God knows who we really are, and delights in us right now, singing over us with joy (Zephaniah 3:17). We no longer need to worry about our image when we relax in the grace and love of this caring God.

So let's make a decision to get real and stay real. To remember the words of the apostle Paul who said: 'When I am weak then I am strong'. Not 'when I am weak then He is strong'. Here's a prayer from the Ragamuffin Gospel (Authentic Classics, page 113):

'Lord Jesus, we are silly sheep who have dared to stand before You with our
preposterous portfolios. Suddenly we have come to our senses. We are sorry and
we ask you to forgive us. Give us the grace to admit that we are ragamuffins, to
embrace our brokenness, to celebrate Your mercy when we are at our weakest, to
rely on Your mercy no matter what we may do ... Amen.'

Amen to that!