Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Don't Live LIfe With Tinted Windows

I live in Austin, Texas where the summer high averages in the mid to upper 90's. That means a lot of days can be well over 100. So like a lot of people who live in the south our cars are all air-conditioned, the stores keep the temperatures very cool and most of the car windows are significantly tinted to help maximize the cooling.

However, I've noticed something about tinted windows in automobiles. It makes it hard to see who is in someone's car. I remember not that long ago being able to wave to people I knew in parking lots and neighborhoods. But now the tinted windows keep me from knowing who is in that vehicle. I'm sure some people wonder why I don't wave when I'm only a few feet away.

Unfortunately, it's easy for us to live life as though we have tinted windows on us!  We can act like we really don't want people to see who we are, notice our faults and get into our challenging world. We'd much of the time just rather keep things nice, safe and to ourselves.

However, there are problems with living that way. Let me suggest a few.

First, we miss out on true intimacy and friendship with others. If we never bare our souls then we never enjoy the care, love and compassion another might show us. We keep things bottled up and it only raises our anxiety causing us to miss out on the understanding of another that we deeply long for inside.

Second, people miss out on seeing the real us. Instead they just get a facade. We may try to present ourselves as always together and happy but we know better. And frankly, others close to us really want to the real us, not the pretend one. In fact, all of us love to know that someone is struggling with many of the same things we are.

Third, we miss out on some of the growth that occurs in us when we're honest and open about our faults, limping and struggle. When we hide our stuff we don't give others the chance to help us get better, to see our blind spots and to take our skills and abilities to the next level.  God sees us as we are and He still loves us. Let others do the same.

So while sometimes we do need to protect ourselves in relationships, don't stay isolated. Let some people see into your life. They can help make you better, stronger and healthier. And when you do open yourself up you will probably help others. They probably need you too!
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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