07 December 2004

"once we accept the gospel of grace and seek to shed defense mechanisms and subterfuges, honesty involves the willingness to face the truh of who we are, regardless of who we are, regardless of how threatening or unpleasant our perceptions may be. it means hanging in there with ourselves and with God, learning our mind tricks by experiencing how they defeat us, recognizing our avoidances, ackowledging our lapses, learning completely that we can not handle it ourselves. this steady self-confrontation requires strength and courage. we cannot use failure as an excuse to quit trying.

without personal honesty i can easily construct an image of myself that is rather impressive. complacency will then replace God. many of us do not want the truth about ourselves; we prefer to be reassured of our virtue. honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that we are save sinners. there is a beautiful transparancy to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.

Getting honest with ourselves does not make us unacceptable to God. it does not distance us from God, but draws us to him--as nothing else can--and opens us anew to the flow of grace. while Jesus calls each of us to a more perfect life, we cannot acheive it on our own. to be alive is to be broken. and to be broken is to stand in need of grace. it is only through grace that any of us could dare hope that we could become more like Christ."

[brennan manning]

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