Years ago, when I was still pretty new in my walk with Christ, on a women's retreat, we gathered into small groups to pray. I shared that God was doing an amazing work in me...that he was healing past emotional wounds of molestation that happened when I was seven years old.
After I shared, I looked up and a few women had tears flowing from their eyes. I didn't understand it at the time. Should I not have brought that up?
It turned out that those women, too, had been molested as girls and had never dealt with it. They spoke with me after the group time. I didn't know the power of sharing my story then. I didn't understand 2 Corinthians 1:4 at the time.
2Corinthians 1:4 says, "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
No one is without troubles, hurts, pains. Unfortunately some even try to hide their pain from God. When you do that you only further hurt yourself. God is a healer, waiting to heal. And He wants to use your story to heal others.
We spend so much time as believers, trying to hide our stories, the things we are ashamed of, when God wants to take those things and not only heal us but use our healing to reach out and help others. Others need to see and know that you...even you, church leader, are not perfect. You didn't accept Christ and suddenly become a perfect human being. They need to know that you have flaws and struggles.
Putting forth a perfect image is a lie. It is deceptive. And it is dangerous...to other Christians, to yourself and to the growth of the church on a whole.
Image is about the external. About how something looks.
Christians get confused and believe because the Scriptures say they are made perfect in Christ that this means they are to act perfect or make themselves look perfect to others. That is called one thing - acting.
It is true that we are made perfect in Christ, but that means that positionally, spiritually, when God looks at us He sees His perfect son Jesus Christ in us, and it's because of Jesus that we can have a relationship with God. But it doesn't mean we are perfect in the flesh because we are still human beings. And no human being is perfect.
When we pretend to be perfect we take away God's ability to show others His strength and power in our lives. We take away his ability to use 2Corinthians 1:4 to help others.
I'm not saying we need to tell others everything we're going through. No. We aren't to do that. But there are experiences you have gone through that God wants you to share with others so that God can use it to help them.
I don't know just how much my sharing helped those women that day, but it let them know that they weren't alone. They weren't the only ones who had been molested. It let them know that God wants to heal them too. And I hope those tears were just the beginning of their healing.
A spiritual and emotional healing often begins with us sharing our story and how God is working or has worked to heal us. (Often, too, our sharing is further healing for us.)
Is God calling you to be transparent about something you've been ashamed of? If so, He is going to use it for His good when you stop hiding.