Keeping up appearances

These people are all so busy putting on an act, they don’t have time to be themselves.
                                          After the Dance, Terence Rattigan

I found this an unusually touching insight into the characters in the play I saw on Thursday night.  The line is spoken by Helen, explaining to her younger brother – overawed by his first encounter with the ‘Bright Young Things’ – why she spends time with them. She thinks most of them are quite nice, really, if only they’d let themselves be.

Unfortunately, all too often it is a criticism justly levelled at Christians. 

We can be so busy maintaining the image of what we think we’re supposed to be – what we think others want and expect us to be – that we forget to be authentic.

Living with integrity means integrating every part of our lives. The you your colleagues see on Monday afternoon and the you your family sees on Thursday night and the you your church sees on Sunday morning should be all the same person.

Keeping up the appearance, especially at church, of having it all together, can be limiting to our own growth, damaging to the church community and depressing for those who think they are the only ones struggling with their Christian walk.

Take time to be yourself, in private, with your family and with your friends. 

It might be a challenge to start with.  You may well be afraid of what people might think if they suddenly discover the real, flawed you, but it will only get harder the longer you wait, and the consequences will get more serious.

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