|I did NOT take this cool photo.|
The best spiritual place to be with God is in an attitude of full transparency. God knows what's in you anyway, so why not bare it all?
But why reveal anything at all, from our end, if God already knows us fully, inside and out? The answer is: the God-thing is about a relationship, not a ritual. God loves you, and wants us to trust His love. Relationship requires response. That's us.
The good parent knows a lot about their children. Their children do not know this. If the child steals something, the most fruitful spiritual response will be for the child to come forth on their own instead of being exposed by their parents. Even if the parent already knows. The parents wants the child to trust them. In a similar way God desires us to bring our entire selves before Him. In this way we learn to trust that God will always be truthful and loving towards us, and has His best interests in mind when it comes to us.
When it comes to other people voluntary vulnerability is our response. We cannot be fully transparent before most people, because they are not God. We cannot trust that their response to us will be loving and truthful. For me, there's only a handful of people in my life that I can be entirely open before. The first among these is Linda. The qualities in her that allow me to trust her with my deepest self are:
- I know she loves me
- She never condemns me
- She's not out to "get me"
- She never tries to control me
- She is forgiving (because she, like me, has been forgiven much)
- She speaks truthfully to me (no game-playing or manipulating)
- She champions my spiritual being - she wants Christ to be more deeply formed in me
But my wife is not God. God is a lot better than she is, and than I am. For all those who cry out to God for "more" of Him, this will necessarily involve laying all of you before Him. You will discover that God is always good.