By Margaret, The Rope Editor
I’ve had a rough couple of months. Before this blog, I never would’ve told anyone that. And why is that? I’ve always claimed privacy is the cause, but now I wonder if it’s something else entirely.
I’ve said before that I’m a preacher’s kid. Because of that, I’ve always felt a responsibility to be perceived well. I don’t know if my parents ever told me that was important or if I just picked it up along the way — it’s just an ingrained thought I carry with me.
Being perceived well has always been the equivalent of having a good witness in my mind, but is that even accurate? Is it bad to have a witness that’s filled with mistakes and brokenness and overwhelming guilt but continues to love God and strive for His purpose? Is it better to have a witness that seems nearly perfect but hides the pain and shortcomings that make life a quiet struggle?
I know my thoughts seem a little choppy, but each one builds and adds another layer to one burdening thought:
Does my fear of others’ perception of me get in the way of sharing with and loving people like Jesus tells me to?
I can go ahead and tell you that it does. Only recently have I started accepting that I’m going to look like an awkward fool when He tells me to pray with someone in the middle of a workday or at the end of a phone call.
And what’s so crazy is sometimes I feel like I did the exact right thing and other times I walk away feeling like such an idiot. Dear Consistency, I’m ready for a visit!
All of these thoughts boil down to the issue of being real with people. Everyone messes up. Everyone feels *insert negative adjective here* at some point. Everyone struggles with judging others. So why don’t we talk about it? Why don’t we make each other stronger by sharing burdens?
I fear peoples’ opinions of me. That’s something I will probably always struggle with. But I don’t want that fear to control my actions anymore. Do you?