The words of a song can stay with you for years. A simple line can have the most profound effect, not just on our emotions, but on our very psyche. Over the coming weeks and months I would like to share with you some lines of songs that have stayed with me and shaped me into the person I want to become. The first one is below:
‘Would you love me if you really knew me?’ – Sheila Walsh
The cry of every human heart. Every single one of us has a fear that, if someone were to really get to know us, warts and all, they would reject us. Deep down we have a conviction that we are unlovable as we are. And yet into that fear comes perfect love.
We spend our lives wearing a mask. The Pharisees in Jesus’ time were known for that, and Jesus had harsh words for them. His harshness wasn’t solely for the fact that they would put on a mask; it was because their mask was about putting on a show of being all holy and superior, while not lifting a finger to help the poor. That’s why Jesus called them hypocrites. The word ‘hypocrite’ is a Greek word which was used to describe someone in a theatre play who wore a mask and played the part of a certain character. A hypocrite was an actor. Aren’t we all like that to some extent?
Would you love me if you really knew me, if you really knew the thoughts that I have at times, the things I have done, the intents of my sinful heart? My deepest fear is that you would not, and so I play a role, shutting myself off from the rest of the world, and not allowing you to get to know me as I really am. C.S. Lewis expressed it eloquently, as usual:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
When Jesus said that we must die if we are to truly live, he meant what he said. Life wasn’t meant to be easy said a former Australian Prime Minister. We put ourselves out on a limb when we take the risk of letting people into our lives. Some will accept us and some will walk away. However, this brokenness is where freedom lies. When I dare to reveal my deepest self, it can feel like death. This though is where God steps in. God steps in and unveils the thoughts and intents of the heart, and when he sees them, his first words are “I do not condemn you”.