May 26, 2018 • Life for Leaders
Scripture: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Not too long ago, I shared the heartbreaking story about my publisher’s decision to remove an endorsement from my last book, a book about unity. Living through that experience was disappointing and frustrating, to say the least.
I had good friends and family who helped me process the experience. They gave me wise counsel when needed, and they commiserated with me, too. When it was time for me to tell the story, my loved ones cheered me on.
I wasn’t sure how the story would be received. But isn’t that the whole idea behind risking our true selves with the world around us? We never know how we’ll be received by onlookers, and often, that keeps us silent when we should speak up. Sometimes, our concern about how our true thoughts, our true beliefs, our true mistakes, our true selves will be received by others keeps us living behind masks that conceal who we really are and how we really feel.
This is not the life we were meant to live. Jesus came and lived among us so that we could live freely. Free from judgement, free from hiding, free from living as our false selves. God wants us to be who we were created to be, and so God sent Jesus to set us free.
It’s scary at first, but once you take the first step toward freedom, the next steps become a little less difficult to take. After I wrote my story, readers took matters into their own gracious, loving, and forgiving hands. They put things right by writing out the words of the deleted endorsement in ink — right on the cover of their own copies of the book. They took pictures of their handiwork and posted them on social media, using the hashtag, #trueunity.
Had I kept the story to myself, those readers would never have known and I never would have witnessed the support of so many from so many different places in the world. Their response might just have healed my heart and set me free again.
Something to think about:
What story have you been keeping to yourself? How has your secret story been an obstacle to your ability to live freely?
Something to do:
Write out your secret story. You don’t have to share it with anyone. Just note how you feel as you see the story on the page — outside of yourself.
Lord, I want to be free. I want to be the person you believe I can be. Help me know how, when, and to whom to tell my story, even if I only ever tell it to you. Amen.