But so much of what we think we know are things that lie only on the surface. The things we observe. The things we hear about. The things we read on facebook.
It may be just me, because I rarely put myself out there to attempt to truly get to know someone, and in turn, let them get to know me. (Except for these pages where I write…but that’s different…somehow.) But in today’s world of social media, cell phones, texting, instant messages, etc., we rarely dig beyond those surface things to get to what really matters. It’s easier that way, right?
1 John 3:18 ESV
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
And when I learn bits of information about people’s lives behind their closed doors…I am shocked.
Recently I learned about a marriage on the verge of failing. This couple seemed to be one of the rare good ones who had a strong family, a strong faith and a strong marriage. The thought that this marriage may be ending deeply saddens me. I haven’t been about to push the thought out of my head. I still am not sure that I believe that it’s true.
There is a part of me that wants to reach out. But maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe they don’t want to let anyone in. Maybe it’s none of my business.
But that’s how we work, isn’t it? We feel as though others lives are not our responsibility. So we try to hold on to what we think things should be like. We have this picture of what life should be, what relationships are like. We paint pictures for those on the outside to see, while on the inside it is a mess. We don’t want people to know the truth, to know the flaws, to know that we aren’t strong nor filled with faith overflowing.
It’s easier for people to perceive us a certain way, and in turn, easier to perceive others a certain way. It’s easier to live life at a distance and not really get involved in another’s mess.
Or is it?
I’m thinking it’s not. I think that life is nowhere close to black and white. Things are rarely what they seem. And life lived with walls all around us, beautifully crafted on the outside yet all together unfinished on the inside, is no life at all.
But letting people in is scary. I don’t even know how to do it now that I have a husband and three children. I give so much of myself to them, I feel like I don’t have the energy to make an effort toward a new friendship. Who would want to get to know me on that level, anyways?
And what kind of responsibility, accountability would come with knowing someone else on a true level?
I think this world has transformed us into believing that other people’s struggles, their sins, their flaws are just their own. That we have no business getting involved. But that’s not how life what meant to be lived. I think it’s our duty, not just as Christians, but as human beings, to help each other navigate through the peaks and valleys, through the good and the bad, through the falls and failures.
Galatians 6:1-5 ESV
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.