Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
I love organizing, and I love Jesus even more. But I hope that you don’t read any of my stuff and think, Well, Little Miss Organized certainly has it all together.
I really don’t have it all together. In all of my writing and speaking, I try to be super transparent, letting you know that I struggle with intentionally living for Christ just as much as the next person, if not more. I need His grace.
But it sure can be tempting to try to impress…
Here are a few true confessions:
- I want my husband’s coworkers, and their spouses, to think I’m easy to talk to.
- I want my pastor’s wife (of all people) to think that I have good taste in clothes.
- I want my publisher to think I’m smart and capable.
- I want my friends to think my kids are very well-behaved and polite.
- I want to impress you. With every blog post.
Now here’s a little embarrassing transparency for you:
- I have to work really hard at small talk. At the office Christmas party, I’ve had every thought run out of my head as I stood in awkward silence alongside those coworkers… this happens yearly.
- I honestly don’t care that much about clothes. And I know quite well that I’m not as cool as my pastor’s wife!
- Especially in the writing and publishing world, it’s highly debatable that I am either smart or capable. I’ve made a complete idiot of myself in front of my publisher at least five times that I can think of, and certainly there are more that I’m not thinking of. (Or should I write, “there are more of which I’m not thinking”?)
- My kids really are very well-behaved… most of the time. Let’s not forget the time that my 2-year-old bit my friend’s 6-month-old right in front of us (as in, “You’re so cute I just want to eat you up,” actually picked up a pudgy arm and bit it). Or the time my 5-year-old yelled, “Just shut up!” at a neighbor boy who was picking on him… right in front of the boy’s mom, who saw none of the aforementioned picking. Or the time I caught my 10-year-old sneaking and eating candy in her bedroom.
- And I know that I cannot possible impress you with every blog post. Perhaps you haven’t been impressed with any blog post. I have no idea. (And I’m not asking for compliments here, trust me.)
We can all fall into the trap of wanting to be impressive to others. Sometimes it can be about having stuff (like a nice house, car, or wardrobe). Sometimes it can be about talents, or general “success.” Sometimes it can even be about faith (like, look how much I know about the Bible, or how many great Christian phrases I can pull into our conversation, or how well or how often I pray.)
We clutter up our own hearts with these things, setting standards we can’t possible meet and looking for approval in the wrong places.
What a relief it is then, to be real:
- To ask those co-workers how they are and really want to hear the answer instead of thinking about how to keep the conversation going.
- To wear whatever I want to church and not worry about what anyone but Jesus will think.
- To trust my publisher to help me, not because my writing is worth his time, but because my message is.
- To let my friends see the kids as they are and know that they will love them anyway.
- To know that you, my faithful readers, will read my blog posts in search of something to lead them closer to Christ. And to know that I alone can’t supply that in any event… only God can move in your hearts.
So, may He move in your heart today.
Take the Challenge: Look at your calendar for the events you’re planning this season. Think of at least one person you’ll see whom you’d usually try to impress in some way. How can you be transparent with them? Make the decision to trust them with the fact that you aren’t perfect.
The fact that you’re not perfect might even be a relief to them. Your transparency might be a relief to you. Clear out the spiritual clutter that’s in the way of letting the real you shine through.
Did you do it? How did it go? I’d love to hear, so comment or tell me on Facebook!
And if you’d like more help setting priorities, check out my first book, Organizing You, and to learn more about relaxing your spirit so you can open your door, check out my handbook, Organizing For Christian Hospitality!
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