Have you ever looked at someone’s social media profile photo and tried to square it with the person you know? I’m not counting your friend who uses a picture of their dog. That’s fodder for another topic. I get it though. I’m not going to post what I look like when I get up first thing in the morning either unless I’m going for comic effect. Also, there’s nothing wrong with presenting your best you to the world, but if your friends are really your friends they won’t require Photoshop filters to make your image palatable.
What about every other way you present yourself? In our interactions with each other, whether they’re brief or lengthy, online or in person, I believe there’s great value in being genuine. What’s on my mind when I say that is everyone at one time or another is going through some sort of personal struggle, and while it’s relatively easy for most of us to talk about the victories in our lives, the rough times can be more difficult to share. We may feel like being honest makes us weak, vulnerable, or guilty of oversharing. In our efforts to be admired and liked we may leave out what makes us most human, our struggles. In the process of sharing what you’re going through, your friend may have an insight that helps you. Also, they may be better able to relate to you by this newly opened line of communication. Because so often we’re going through similar issues it can help us solve our own problems by hearing about a friend’s. Finally, shared burdens are made lighter. Men especially are reticent to appear weak by actually talking about what’s going on in their lives, but we’re all afraid to reveal ourselves at times. Can we leap boundaries and talk too much about ourselves? Sure. Once again, social media, right? But within the confines of a trusted relationship, or towards opening a new one, there’s great value in being real. The irony regarding communication these days is that while there seems to be so much of it out there, we’re actually talking to each other less and less. Too often there seems to be the attitude that every conversation has to have a winner and a loser. I believe most of the time the best way to move myself and everyone I know forward is to talk a little and listen a lot.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

How can you bear a burden
if it can’t find the light of day?
How can words be spoken
if no one dares to say?
Tears won’t form a flood
if a friend helps stem the tide.
I pray you let me
share your struggles
as I hope you pray for mine.

©Joel Tipple 11/30/2019

(Please feel free to re-post this)

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