"Get Real"

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By: Tracie Miles
Proverbs 31 Speaker

2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory; which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (NIV)

I was sitting in Sunday School listening to prayer requests being mentioned. Prayer needs varied and were mostly for others, but a few were personal requests. All the prayer requests were valid and prayer-worthy, but I started to wonder if we were truly being real with one another. Why were we not asking for prayers for our own struggles - with family, school, or challenges in living a Christ-like life?

I had many prayer requests that morning but instead of sharing them with my Christian friends, I kept them hidden inside. Part of me wanted their prayers, but another part feared sharing my most personal issues and concerns with them. Instead of remembering that God would hear the prayers of these prayer warriors and intervene in my life, I focused on my own insecurities and the fear of being judged by them. I finally realized we all needed to get real and by keeping our struggles to ourselves, we were denying each other the opportunity to be encouraged and supported.

In today’s society, we have a tendency to focus more on outward appearances than on our inward heart condition. We may have a smile on our face, but on the inside our heart is aching and we’re pleading for someone to care enough about us to speak with God on our behalf. We need to be confident enough in our faith to allow others to pray for us. If we truly desire a character like Christ’s, we must be willing to expose our weaknesses, shed our hypocrisy and stop pretending that our life is perfect. God calls us to be transparent.

In 1 Samuel 16:7, Samuel was in the process of determining which man God wanted to become the king of Israel. The Lord made it clear to Samuel that He did not care about what was on the outside: “‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’" Samuel had been looking at the outside instead of the inside heart condition.

When I am transparent, I allow people to see, pray for, and love the “real me.” Being real and vulnerable helps me to be usable for God. Once my mask is removed God can use the “real me” to minister to others. Sharing about forgiving someone who betrayed you, a restored relationship, spiritual healing from a bad mistake, or recovery from an addiction could be exactly what someone else needs to hear so their life and heart can be changed. If people think we “have it all together,” they are less likely to share their struggles. This could close the doors God opens for us to serve them by helping them remove their masks, as well.

By removing our own masks, God uses us to bring glory to His kingdom. Not only will people see the prayer needs in our lives, they will also see the transparency of a sinner being transformed by being real and praying to a faithful God.

Dear Lord, help me take off the masks I wear so that I can be real with others. Give me the strength to look past my own insecurities and fears, so that I can use my experiences to help others learn to see You working in their lives. Please bring people into my path that I can minister to by being a vessel for Your awesome work. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Tracie’s blog for more encouragement.

Teen People of the Bible by Daniel Darling

Think About It:
Am I willing to be real with my friends and acquaintances?

Am I more concerned with my outward appearance than the condition of my heart?

Live It:
Ask God to show you how you can help someone by sharing your victory over a difficult situation.

Power Verse:
2 Corinthians 3:16, “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” (NIV)

© 2010 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

Tell Us About It:
Have you ever shared a struggle with others? If so, what did you gain from doing so?

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