To Be Known

To Be Known

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I Corinthians 13:8-13

To know God. To know love. To show God’s love to others.

It’s amazing what being known does to a person. It can bring all types of reactions and emotions—excitement, joy, fear, bewilderment. I’m pretty sure most of us don’t really understand what it truly means to be known.

See, love in a true relationship goes two ways. Not that it is conditional. But it’s not just knowing someone and loving them no matter what. Sometimes, it’s about being known and loved no matter what.

If you’ve gotten over being the harsh judgmental, it’s easy for most of us as Christians to know others and at least pretend to accept them as they are. We get hurt or offended or confused, but we can pretty quickly say “it’s covered in grace”. After all, that’s why Jesus came to Earth isn’t it? And who am I to hold a grudge against someone if Jesus didn’t?

That’s great. But then when it comes to ourselves, all of the sudden, grace is no longer sufficient. It must be supplemented with deeds and works and guilt and shame…and most of us don’t exactly forgive ourselves well. Which makes me wonder if we can actually truly forgive others if we can’t even forgive ourselves…

“Yes, but you don’t know what I’ve done!” Seriously? Really? Who hasn’t?

Get over yourself. Don’t give yourself (or the devil) so much credit to think that God’s grace and His grace through people isn’t good enough for you.

Now what does this have to do with being known?

Well, you see, as quick as we are to dig into other people’s lives and hearts in the name of “ministry”, we are very slow to be fully known—in the name of “ministry”. We wouldn’t want anyone to stumble, now would we?

Understand, I’m not saying that we need to just go around balling and squalling to the world as we work through the tough issues we all eventually face. That’s just stupid.

But what if…

What if we finally got over our own pride…

What if we finally got over our distrust in God…

What if we finally got over our fear of being known…

And maybe we decided to be fully known…

What freedom of being able to be so comfortable with your own self that if anyone asked, you’d tell them.

What if there was no longer a mask that kept others out and, at the same time, kept yourself locked in. You see, the gifts and talents and heart that the Lord has given you might seep through the cracks in the mask…but how powerful would they be if the mask wasn’t actually there???

Another thing to think about when deciding to be known…

Some of us are quick to tell people our struggles and failures, but we won’t actually step out in the calling that the Lord has given us—we might fail or be rejected. Others may have an easy time standing on stage in front of crowds doing that thing they are called to—but no one really knows what goes on when you’re alone…

So how do we make this transition from spreading grace to the world to accepting the grace that God has been trying to give us all along?

First, you have to decide to be fully known. No matter how ugly it is or how hard it may be sometimes. And then let God know you. Give Him free reign. Because, really, that’s the only way you can begin to know yourself. And as you begin to know yourself, share it with those that matter…

Pretty simple.

Sound selfish? On the contrary…

You see, when you have allowed God to know you and give you grace and love you in spite of your shortcomings…

And when you have allowed yourself to see you for who you really are and can still walk with your head held high…

And when you have allowed others to extend the grace that we all so desperately need…

You may actually begin to get glimpse of what love actually is…and though you can’t wrap your mind around Him in His fullness, you will be able to TRULY know people and accept them…and you will be able to actually introduce them to this person we call Love.

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