The deepest cry of all humanity is authentic relationship–being able to connect, belong and feel safe amongst people we can be ourselves with.
But how can we do this if we are all walled up when in community?
No one likes someone being “fake” but we struggle to let down our fabrications, especially because of the fear that we have of really “being seen.”
Something must change. But we wont change unless the pain of our personal prisons propel us into change. No one will remove their fabricated personas and poser masks until we realize these coping mechanisms are hurting us, not helping us.
The good news is that living more authentically has so many amazing benefits.
- You gain more energy. The more you are “yourself” the less you need to manufacture energy. We often tire and burn out because we spend so much investment into a role we play or a mask that we wear.
- You get to discover who you really are in a more crystal clear manner. Many people say to me, “Mark I want to be more myself. But I don’t know who that is!” This because we have gotten lost in the roles we fulfill or the masks we put up. As we remove the fabrications, we get to discover more of who we really are and learn how to live in that flow.
- Other people get blessed by you being yourself. The most powerful you are is when you simply live out of who God made you to be. It allows the anointing of God to flow the most and invites people to live more true to who they are.
- People are most impacted by those who are vulnerable, yet moving in powerful directions. Although its challenging to be vulnerable, we are drawn to vulnerability.
- You create a welcome mat for real relationships. Some wont receive it and want you to stay in your fabrications. Others want to stay in their prison. But many will respond to your invitation to live free and walk in their true identity. The impact is priceless.
Once you realize that authentic relationship is the way to go, then some simple things need to be put into application.
Ready to let the guard down and allow God to heal you, while setting yourself up for real relationships? Here are some applications to take to heart.
Face Fear and Become Vulnerable
One of the biggest components that breaks the power of our bondage is removing the mask and becoming vulnerable. We let down our walls and say, “You know what? I’m just going to be me, because my Father in heaven loves me, and He’s made me in His image and He accepts me right now. So that’s what I’m really going to show.”
This does not give us license to act disrespectfully or in rebellion against others. It simply means coming to terms with your weakness and allowing yourself the peace of simply being yourself, flaws and all.
In our work over the years, I have watched many fabrications shaken off. When my wife and I pastored years ago, we watched people walk and carry their fabrications. No matter how welcoming our culture was, they wouldn’t put their walls down. In fact, they didn’t like the vulnerable culture we were cultivating. They wanted to find a church culture where everyone puts a “church face” on.
They expected us to play to the fabrication, but the problem is that we do not value fabrications, and never will. We want to give room for people to be themselves while they learn who they really are and move in love towards the identity God gave them.
Fabricated personalities don’t last long in a vulnerable and authentic culture. Their tactics have little room to survive. In fact, people can get bitter when their performance based fabrications are not rewarded.
I just really want you to be yourself.
The worst thing about being in bondage is when we try to cover it up. Too often pride prevents us from removing our masks, keeping us from being vulnerable. Often it will take becoming more hurt and hitting bottom for you to reach the point where you can be truly vulnerable and face fear. When we are able to get to this point, though, it is incredibly powerful.
Step Out into the Light and Get Real
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
You will have to do this one step at a time with people who you can build trust with one step at a time. Your health, sanity and freedom depend upon you moving into the light of authenticity and transparency. God will deal with any issue you bring to Him, just stop trying to put a mask on to hide your problems.
Find Someone You can be Real with who will Help You in Your Struggles
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
This takes time and investment, but it is worth the effort.
Even if people hurt you, God has tools available to heal you and get you back into the game. No matter what, stepping out and placing trust in people is better than eroding away in a prison of fabrications.
The most powerful dimension of God’s power takes place in the arena of authentic relationships. This does not come without some work and investment. Build a culture of friendships that value an authentic heart connection and you will welcome the power of God to come and bring His light.
Learn to Make what God thinks the Most Important Voice
In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalms 56:11
Studies have shown that our self-esteem is based on what we think the most important person in our life thinks about us. As believers, if we make God our Father this person, then what He says about us will become the compass of who we are and what our value is in this world. His love is endless and will release you to feel safe in who you are, even though you have not arrived yet.
A major problem is that what people think has become an idol to us.
Fear makes it seem like their approval is the most important thing in the world! Our self-esteem and self-worth rest on what people say and how they feel about us.
The truth is, if people don’t like you, that’s their loss!
When we drop our fabrications, relax, and just are ourselves, we become released from the pressure of what people think we need to be.
Remember what Jesus said: “If you lose your life for My sake you’ll find it.” (Matthew 10:39) When we really address that fear we say, “You know what? I’m taking a step out in faith; I’m just going to give my life over to Jesus Christ and just trust that God is going to work in my life!” It is there we will find our safety and security.
Removing the fabrication is going to develop more soundness and depth to who we are and to our relationships.
As awkward as it can be sometimes, will you have the courage to face your fabricated personality and masks you wear, so you can let down your guard and allow God to do a real work in your heart?
Questions for Consideration:
- It is totally healthy to have proper boundaries and guard over our hearts, but where in your life have your boundaries become a wall, where people do not have access to the real you?
- Which fabrication mentioned do you relate to the most? You may possibly share one that was not mentioned.
- In the reasons listed as to why people fabricate, which ones do you connect to the most?
- What would your world look like if those close to you were able to live in an “un-fabricated” way?
- In what way can you become a safe place for people to let down their fabrications?
Father God, thank you for loving me and accepting me, where I can be safe and secure with you. I recognize that it is not always easy to let our walls down, so I ask you to help me. I want to be more real and I want to have real relationships. I ask that you help me face my hurt and face fear, so that I can let down my walls and be free to be myself. Let me be one who can encourage others to be themselves, so their hearts can be touched for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.