The Fear of Being Exposed…

We’ve been talking about Being Authentic.  I listed some things that will keep us from being authentic and having close relationships. Things like: The Fear of Being Rejected, and The Fear of Being Hurt.

Let’s look at the last one I will deal with.

The Fear of Exposure.

We have this fear that people will find out that we are not really who we say we are.  It is the fear of exposure that keeps us from being authentic.

We do not mind our strengths, our capabilities, and all the good things about us being exposed.  What we do not want people to find out about us is our weaknesses.  We do not want our insecurities, and sense of inadequacy exposed.  But these too are part of being human.  We don’t want people to know that we haven’t got it all together.

The truth is nobody has it all together.  So why do we pretend?  Why do we fake it?  Why do we wear masks? The Bible tells us why.

It tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:11, No one really knows what anyone else is thinking or what he is really like except that person himself.  The reason it is so easy to wear a mask is because nobody really knows what you’re like on the inside.  So it is so easy to con people, to produce an image because nobody really knows.  In fact, in the entire universe there is only one person who fully knows and understands you. That would be God.  You do not even understand yourself.  There are motives you have that you do not know about.  There are a lot of things about you and me that we do not fully understand. So even though we do not always understand, we have the assurance that God, who created us and knows us, loves us.

The Bible says that one day there will come a time where we are all known and fully know.  You will not have to explain yourself because everybody will know exactly how you feel.  There will be no more communication breakdowns.  But of course this place is called heaven.

Bette Midler sang the song that stated, from a distance God is watching.  The truth is, He is really not far away. While He sees everything, we are more concerned about what others see.

And that is why we do not like getting close to each other.  We are afraid they will see our insecurities, inadequacies and that we don’t have it all together.  So we keep people at a distance.

Look if you really want to build deep, meaningful, satisfactory, intimate relationships, you are going to have to let people see your weaknesses.  There is no other way. We can impress others from a distance. We can only influence up close.  And when we get up close, people see our warts and they see our mistakes and we do not like that.

We all love to keep our image.  And we have all worked very hard in building an image of what we want people to think about us.  It comes out when we pad our resume to make it look better than it really is.  Or when, in a job interview, we kind of exaggerate a little bit and our achievements make us look like this is a real catch!  It is all image, no authenticity.

You want a good laugh, read the way people describe themselves in the Singles Personal Section.  I would really like to meet some of these people after they have described themselves in such glowing detail and see if they really match what their image is.  Let me show you a few of these.

  • Ex New York model.  Very pretty.  Tall, shapely, clever, educated, divorced, white professional female 38, seeks very successful, good looking, tall, educated, romantic, single white professional male.  Says she is an ex New York model.  Model for what?  Tractors?  Who knows, what is she modeling.
  • Senior goddess.  Fifties.  Active.  With youthful look and viewpoint.  Slim, attractive.  Loves creativity, culture, beauty, loyalty, integrity and Pink Floyd.
  • Neat, witty, full of grace, blue-eyed female.  Hourglass figure.  Who is going to really admit, I’ve got a pear shaped figure.  I have never seen a pear-shaped figure in these adds one time

O.K. time for the guys.

  • Stray cat seeks kitten. Tall, nice looking professional 33.  Blond and green, I am assuming that is blond hair, green eyes and not vice-versa. Seeks attractive professional kitten to keep me out of the alley.”
  • Handsome, caring, passionate, easy going, emotionally secure, financially stable, well educated, fun loving, sensuous.  Nobody is that good.  None of my friends anyway.  In fact, usually in that list, my friends have one of these things you get to choose which one.  This guy sounds like Pierce Brosnan.  You go on a date with him and find out he is 5 feet 1 inch, a slob and works at Burger King.

If you did this, if you put an ad in the paper, you would not say this about yourself.  You would not say, Man, I’m bad ugly.  But rather, I have got great bone structure.

Another one: “I’m adorable!”  Heck.   A puppy or chimpanzee is adorable.

The point is this.  We want people to have our image of us.  We do not want to be authentic.

The first key is to walk and live in the light of God.  That means the light of honesty, the light of truth, the light of integrity, not the darkness of image.

1 John 1:7 If we live in the light as God is in the light then we can share fellowship with each other.  Fellowship is soul-to-soul interaction, it is heart to heart.  It is the deepest level, the intimate connection.  The key to genuine fellowship in a marriage, in a friendship or any other relationship, is to live in the light.

This is the exact opposite of what the world teaches.  The world says intimacy occurs in the dark.  God says, No.  Genuine intimacy occurs in the light.  We often lean toward darkness.  You see it hides all our faults, our feelings, and our failures, and it hides all our fears.

Ephesians 5:13 says, when things are brought out into the light then their true nature is clearly revealed.  Have you ever-noticed how bright light makes you look really ugly.  It exposes all your worst features. It reveals all the nooks, crannies, blemishes and the wrinkles!  But the truth is, that’s the way we really are.  You know those babes in the Victoria Secret catalogue?  They are all airbrushed.  Nobody really looks that good in life.  Nobody has that kind of perfect body and skin.  Let us not be airbrushed Christians.

If you’re going to have deep relationships you have got to be authentic.  You have got to let people see who you are for real.  You have to do what Paul did in 2 Corinthians 4:2 we refuse to wear masks and play games.  Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open the whole truth on display so that those who want to can see. If you do not live authentically, you live as a phony.  You try to be somebody you are not.  And that becomes comical.  Be authentic. Be who God made you to be.

About Ron

Ron and Anne founded the first Christian Fellowship Church in Harlingen, Texas in 1982. Ron presently serves as its apostolic overseer. He travels nationally and internationally motivating and challenging people to be effective in their call and ministry to their local church, their community, and the marketplace.

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