Everything is not as it seems…

A smile can say a lot! It can say, “I’m having a great day!” It can say, “I’m happy to be here!” It can say, “That was funny!” And of course a million other similar things. The point is, it is saying something positive.

Let’s just be honest though. We have all smiled when inside we were dying. We have all said, “I’m fine,” when in reality we were anything but fine. We’ve put on the “happy” face and walked into fellowship group and lied to everyone who saw us.

Let’s be even more revealing. We knew what we were doing…and we did it on purpose. We didn’t want to share what was going on. We were afraid of rejection, criticism, of looking like a failure. We thought we were all alone in how we were feeling so we kept spreading lies across our face.

The truth? It’s more common than you think. You are not alone. We are all pretenders. We desire to live perfect lives, yet fail. And in our failure, we believe we cannot share our struggle. We make ourselves believe we have to do it alone. We have to be perfect. We have to be independent from other believers. And, in essence, that makes us act independently from God.

This failure to have dependence takes away our power. It doesn’t give us more! True power to change our culture and to be changed internally, come from dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Life, in general, says, “Leave me alone! I can do it by myself!” Like an angry 2 year old. Spiritual life says, “I can’t do it without you! I need you Jesus!”

Luke 9:23

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

When we start to deny self, take up our cross daily, and follow Him, we will stop plastering on the fake smile. We will stop trying to depend on our own strength. We will begin to understand our weakness, our failure, our mistakes, do not define us. They are part of who we are, BUT JESUS! He changes everything.

I can fail and know He has not forsaken me, even if others do. I can make a mistake and not cover it up because He still loves and forgives, even when others criticize and judge. I can be honest with my failure because Christ is still working in and through me.

Most importantly, I can begin to depend on His strength and not my own. I can be honest with fellow believers. I can be transparent. I can stop putting on a show. I can be who He created me to be. Then, everything will be as it seems. No lies. No cover-up. Only living daily by faith.