Undressed to Impress….wait, what? Isn’t the saying Dressed to Impress? What basically means is dress to make a statement, to leave a lasting impression on someone or a group of people – how we appear to others is sooo important. We want people to notice us, to be impressed with us, to think we have it going on or have it all together. And if we’re honest, none of us do! Can I say that again for the people in the back? NONE OF US HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER! And you know what? That’s ok!
Our culture is so full of “look at me”, “look at my accomplishments”, “look what’s going on in my life”. Selfie overload, filters and more but if we peeled off the “clothes”, the mask, if you will, I think we’d find we all look a lot alike – messed up, hurting, dealing with life. I’m reminded of a song I used to sing, a Natalie Grant song called “The Real Me” with lyrics stating – But You see the real me, hiding in my skin, broken from within, unveil me, completely, I’m loosening my grasp, there’s no need to mask my frailty, ‘cuz You see the real me. It’s time we were unveiled – undressed.
A few weeks ago at church I went to the altar to pray but after and even a Sunday or two before, I was prompted in my heart to ask these people, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to pray for me. So, at the end of service I opened up and shared my struggles and asked them to pray for me. Why is this so difficult? I need help, in overcoming my issues, my sin…I need encouragement, I need lifted up in prayer, we all do. But yet, we don’t ask. We don’t want people to know our “stuff”, we are afraid. We are afraid of judgment, of not “looking like we think we should”, of admitting we aren’t perfect. We would rather walk around in our brokenness than let even one person know the truth about us, that we are a sinner like everybody else or struggling with anything at all. Looking at it that way makes it sound ridiculous, doesn’t it? But it’s what we do, it’s what I do, what I’ve done.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” James 5:16 CSB
Do you want to be healed? Yes! I do! But…I don’t want to tell my junk, people have hurt me, they’ve shared my secrets, they’ve betrayed my trust so…I’ll just hold onto it. Or, I can handle this, I’m doing better now, no one will understand, they won’t look at me the same. This is the dialogue I have frequently let play out and it has held me captive. James 5:16 gives us the antidote, confess… I don’t believe this means tell all your drama and business on social media, that’s another issue all together. Confess to a brother or sister in Christ, an accountability partner, a trusted friend. I shared with my small church congregation because I trust them and love them and know that they will indeed pray for me. These (righteous persons) are the people James is telling us to confess to, their prayers are powerful!
Take action – get up, confess. In John 5, Jesus sees a disabled man at the pool of Bethesda where people come to be healed. “One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?” Verses 5-6. The ESV says “Do you want to be healed?” The man makes excuses but Jesus says “get up!” We make a lot of excuses and stay in our pit, in our pain, for way too long instead of getting up, instead of reaching for the Savior, instead of simply saying “I need help”. This is just what the enemy wants….for us to stay down. Stagnant, sad, lonely.
One of my favorite authors, Jennie Allen, talks about going to counseling, yet many of us believe if we sought help by way of a therapist, counselor, etc then there must be something wrong with us, shame seems to be attached to getting professional help. We live in a fallen world, we get hurt, we suffer, we get attacked by the enemy, spiritual warfare is a real thing, the list could go on and on. Maybe we just need told that it’s ok to get help, maybe we need to be reminded that we have a Savior who loves us and wants to rescue us. Maybe today is a good day to get up and get undressed, let go of having to look perfect or normal and seek healing. Whether that’s a friend, pastor, church family, or counselor. I recommend getting undressed – call out to Jesus, confess to a trusted friend, and schedule a meeting with a counselor. Do you want to get well?