Out in the Open

by Jan Silvious

These words from Roy Hession’s The Calvary Road (Christian Literature Crusade, 1964) have stimulated my thinking:

The only basis for real fellowship with God and man is to live out in the open with both. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” To walk in the light is the opposite of walking in darkness. Spurgeon defines it in one of his sermons as “the willingness to know and be known.” As far as God is concerned, this means that we are willing to know the whole truth about ourselves, we are open to conviction. We will bend the neck to the first twinges of conscience....

We must be as willing to know the truth about ourselves from our brother as to know it from God. We must be willing not only to know, but to be known by him for what we really are ... we are not going to window-dress and put on appearances; nor are we going to whitewash and excuse ourselves. We are going to be honest about ourselves with them.

At a conference where I was meeting with several women, our conversation plodded along for a while, never leaving the shallows. No one wanted to be the first to say, “I don’t have it all together.” After a few minutes of pleasantries, I plunged into deeper water, mentioning the pain I see in the lives of Christian women today.

Suddenly it was as if a light had been turned on in that room. The women began to open up, to be real, and to let themselves be known for who they really were—people who needed the Savior’s love and redemption, just like me. At that point, we began to have real fellowship.

How willing are you to face the fact that God knows everything about you before you think or do it? If you can acknowledge that truth, you won’t feel the need to be too “proper” with God. He knows already that you are a weak human being who can only function effectively with His help.

Openness with God means that we will be quick to respond to the gentle nudging of the Spirit when He convicts us of something—to ask forgiveness, to restore a relationship, to feed the poor. Openness with others may involve taking the initiative in resolving a problem with a mate: “I know I’ve really been unreasonable lately.” Or a friend, “I’d rather not argue. Why don’t we talk about something else?”

The attitudes that cause us to hide our true selves from others come from the conviction that no one would accept us if they knew what we are really like. But we can’t hide from God. In His omniscience, He knows all about us… and loves us anyway.

From The 5-Minute Devotional
©Zondervan 1991

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