Two of our most basic, human needs are this: to be known and to be loved.
But something’s got many of us convinced you can’t have both.
So we expend lots of energy hiding those parts of ourselves that are unlovely. And we work really hard to succeed (at business, parenting, athleticism, ministry, Bible study, you name it) because we think it will make us lovely and so, worthy of love.
The sad irony is you can’t truly be loved unless you’re known. Being known precedes being loved. Otherwise, who is actually being loved? At best, it’s an image or a fraction of you.
Perhaps even sadder is that for the unlovely parts of a person to heal, grow, or change, those parts need to be exposed to love. You can’t take a sickly rose, throw it in a closet and expect it to shape up. You have to bring it to a gardener who knows and loves roses.
What part of you have you kept hidden? Is it something from your past? Something you can’t stop doing? Something done to you? Maybe a dream or secret hope you’ve had?
The cross reveals that Christ both knows and loves you. Ask Him who in your life is safe to open up to. Then risk being known and watch what happens.
Question: Do you buy the idea that you can’t be truly loved unless you’re fully known? Why or why not? What about the idea that change only comes after love, not the other way around?
I’d value your thoughts! Leave a comment below.
Choosing to be known,
P.S. Here’s one final sad irony: Until you’re willing to let others know you—even your sin, ugliness, and weaknesses—they’ll keep thinking they’re the only ones with unlovely parts they need to hide.
Wish I had you as my Math Teacher (http://youtu.be/fZ9WiuJPnNA); Ergo, I admire neuro-theology and Social-Psychology!
I esteem your thoughts and intellectual insights. Shalom Havarim!
I love reading your blog!! Your insights are so very true. I especially agree with your comments in the P.S of this message. Thank you:-)
Thanks, Anne. Yes, the p.s. is sad but true. I wonder if Paul served many he otherwise wouldn’t have when he began to boast in his weaknesses. I for one thank God for the courageous men and women who have modeled this kind of humble transparency to me.
Hi Josh, Thank you for writing your blog. I look forward to your thoughtful and spot-on commentary and food for thought and soul. In a world of confusion, it is helpful to have your reference that is filled with the truth of God’s love in Jesus.
I agree with your commentary, that we, as Christians, should “Live in the light as He is in the light, then, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from sin.” Our heavenly Father can love us because only He knows us fully, yet loves us perfectly and unconditionally.
People, however can’t always handle the entire truth of another’s history, issues, etc. If a person cant’ fully receive love or love another because of their own lack of openess, candid behavior or complete truthfulness, it only proves that their love is conditional.
There are many who love others well without having to know everything about the person they love. The homeless, addicted, mentally and physically challenged are often unable to reveal their entire story, their sordid pasts, their current struggles, however, can feel genuine love, and be loved by those who understand and love unconditionally. Those loving Christians who travel to foreign places, get dirty, refuse to judge and love deeply in spite of themselves, their own sin and the sin of others.
The true love that comes from God does not require anything but receiving. He puts that love in His people, the Holy Spirit’s work and power. We can be loved fully by and through this love which places no requirements on the individual, but loves freely and perfectly. He gave His life so we can live and be loved.