Please welcome a new blogger Michele to the Transparent Ministries site. Below is Michele’s post that I felt expressed the heart of our message here at Transparent Ministries. So I hope you enjoy this great message.

I used to attend a church that struggled with control. I was told by my superiors, that as a member of church leadership, I HAD to have a smile on my face when I was in the building. My appearance HAD to be neat, and my face HAD to reflect happiness, even if I was struggling internally.

Throughout the years, I was continually “called into the office” to discuss what kind of progress I was making with the look on my face, and I sat through countless lectures about the importance of showing the “joy of Jesus” so that people would see it, and be attracted to Him.

Hmmm….. okay, so can I just tell you, that I am NOT into being fake? I have always wrestled with and resented the concept of being forced to proclaim something outwardly, that isn’t coming from my core. I am EXTREMELY imperfect and human, and if God wants me to be transparent with Him and the rest of the world, unfortunately, that means there will be times when I struggle. And when I say struggle, I don’t mean just the little bumps in the road like being late to church, getting cut off by a rude driver, breaking a dish, accidentally washing a white shirt with a red shirt. I mean the real, deep, life-altering kind of struggle. Losing a loved one, financial crisis, homelessness, lonliness, depression…. the list goes on and on.

Though I would never claim to have analyzed the Bible word for itty bitty word, I have never read anywhere that Jesus jumped out of bed with a smile on his face on the morning of His death. I don’t see words that reflect fake public joy in His journey to the cross. On the contrary, according to the Bible I read, Jesus was so deeply effected by the impending events and the burden He bore, that it caused a physical reaction of sweat mixed with blood.

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”—Luke 22:44 (NKJV)

Soooo… why do we feel like we have to be so fake? Do we really think we’re attracting people with our paste-on smiles and our insta-joy? Yes, there IS joy in the journey, but golly gee whiz, I mean for goodness sake and jeepers, for crying out loud (hehehe)…..we’re human too! Why can’t we just be real with each other? Have we really become that protective of our pride, that we can’t let others see how we’re hurting?

I just don’t know about us sometimes.

Just think…. if we showed more vulerability and became more transparent with each other, we might actually be able to…. **GASP**…. help and support each other. Perhaps we could show the “rest of the world” that God doesn’t require perfection, and that, despite our bad days and struggles, He loves us more deeply than we know. Maybe, just maaaaaybe, Jesus could be reflected in our lives in a way that we never thought possible. Dare we take such a risk? Oh, swoon if you must, dear fellow mask wearers….. swoooooon.

All right… so I’ve always said, if you’re going to promote something that’s been “proven” to whiten your teeth, then go ahead…. SHOW ME YOUR TEETH. Show me that you’ve used it, and show me that it works. So…. below is a list of five things I struggle with. Read them, and then post five things of your own. Maybe we can help each other…..

1. I struggle with feeling like a resource instead of a person. The phone only rings when people want something from me.

2. I struggle with why people do or don’t get healed from sicknesses, and I’m not afraid to ask questions about it.

3. I struggle with mediocrity…. simply existing, and never really making a difference.

4. I struggle with fear about what the future holds.

5. I struggle a lot with rejection.

Wow…. that’s really not easy, is it? Still, I’ve opened the door. Now it’s your turn, and remember…. be transparent!

Click Here to read other messages from Michele