“Hello, my name is Mei and I am a recovering perfectionist. Left to my own devices, my pantry would be color coded, labelled and organized by height, expiration date and food group.”
But I have a confession to make. I am a fraud. Even some of my closest friends don’t know my secret. If you come to my house and open a cabinet door, you might find a bag of stuff – mail, magazines, CD’s – that I have quickly stuffed in there months ago because I did not have time to sort through the pile and I just needed to get it out of sight. Other than my immediate family, most people think that I am super-organized and nothing in my house is out of place.
As a newly-wed, that was my goal. I tried so hard to emulate the home decorating magazines and a certain television personality, named Martha, was my hero. It was exhausting trying to maintain this façade. Overwhelmed, I would fall into my pit of depression – a pit that I personally dug.
I was in bondage to a lie – my value and self-worth were tied to how beautiful and immaculately-maintained my home was.
In Luke 11, Jesus criticizes the religious leaders for focusing on external religious rules rather than having hearts and lives that were transformed within. Everything was about outward appearances, from hand washing ceremonies to tithing the smallest amount from their herb gardens.
“Then the Lord said to him, ‘You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy — full of greed and wickedness!’ “ Luke 11:39
As the religious leaders, they were more concerned about the appearance of righteousness than being internally transformed by the love of God. They were attempting to gain God’s favor with their exorbitant rules and rituals. They exalted themselves in the sight of others, but neglected to open the door to their own hearts to see all the mess and corruption that had accumulated inside.
God’s Word was merely a duty, and not delight. It was a burden, and not a blessing.
“It is possible to have a form of religion and not be formed by love for Christ. It is possible to see the law but be blind to love.” ~ Ann Voskamp
God wants us to seek Him, not be self-seeking.
We can try to hide our messiness and depravity behind doors of self-righteousness. But it is pretense.
“The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.” Luke 12:2
God sees our inner self – our motives, desires and thoughts. He wants to do an inward work; conforming our hearts into the image of Christ. It is His love poured into us which will ultimately produce the outward manifestation of a beautiful heart, a heart that exalts our Creator.
I am thankful to be part of a community of women who gather to refresh daily in His Word.
I am thankful that through His grace, we are given permission to be transparent and authentic. We are allowed to open a few cabinet doors and permit others to see the messiness of our broken lives.
Will you join me toward a life of transparency and authenticity?