“Because, if I’m honest, I’ll admit that I care more about what you think about me than I do about what God knows about me! And that’s just messed up.”
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about a shed I built in my back yard. I only had enough paint to cover two sides – so, naturally, I painted the sides you can see and skipped the sides you can’t. I wrote about how God “called me on that” by pointing out my motives and impressing on me the thought in my first sentence above.
(if you haven’t read part I for this story – it might be helpful to stop here and click on the “Home” button above and find the first one)
When writing that first story my conclusions were that I needed to be willing to be exposed. I needed to be transparent and honest with others AND with myself. Those things are true, but, after a comment from a friend of mine (thanks Ed), it occurred to me that there was an entire level of thought that I was totally missing.
When we hide areas of our lives from others we think that there is “no harm done”. What can it hurt? It’s just areas we choose to keep covered. Besides it’s nobody’s business but mine! But, when I looked closely at the sides of that shed that were left unfinished (no protective coat) I noticed something else. The trim is weathered and graying and there is a bit of mold growing on the exposed wood. On the sides with the skim coat there are areas of wood and wallboard that are exposed to the elements and starting to show signs of “age” way too soon.
You see, if you don’t pay attention to your exterior wood surfaces from day one, the damage starts on day one. Exposure to the elements will begin to erode your wood quality from the very moment your project or building is completed. Unprotected wood quickly absorbs the moisture from rainwater, dew, snow, and ice. As these soak in, they cause the wood to soften and swell up. When the sun comes up, the wood will dry out in the heat, which causes it to shrink and harden and crack. Then it rains again and the cycle begins all over. Ultimately, your brand new building will wear out prematurely.
The same is true, of course, for us spiritually speaking. We think those things that can’t be seen aren’t hurting us or anyone else – but what we don’t see is the damage done, slowly and sometimes imperceptibly, when areas of our lives are left unprotected. The cost can be high. Remember the guy who built his house on the sand? Matthew 7:27 says, “When the rains and floods come (and they will) and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” NLB