There used to be a game show on TV called “To Tell the Truth”. The host would introduce three panelists with bags over their heads portrayed as the same person, and the contestants would ask the panelists prying questions to try to figure out who was telling the truth and who were the impostors. As the game progressed, the questioning would intensify and the two impostor panelists would try to throw the contestants off with deceptive answers. Finally the host would say, “Would the real _____ please stand up.” Ironically, most of the time the contestants were completely baffled as to who the real person was until they finally stood up to reveal their true identity.
If Life was a Game Show…
This game is eerily similar to our lives. Do you ever feel like you are playing the same game every day- with every person, with every conversation? You have the choice to go through life like you are in a game show — disguising your true identity and trying to convince people you are someone else, weaving interesting stories together to convey a person you want others to see you as — a confident, heroic, wise, successful … winner. Most of us are so good at this game. Of course we are! We’ve had a lot of practice.
But there is one problem with this game…it leads to nowhere. Experience points to this fact, but what about the Bible?
So, What Does the Bible Say About Your Reputation?
John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
1 Timothy 3:7 “And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
1 Peter 5:5 “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
The “real you” may not be as interesting as the impostor, but it’s got something going for it—it’s the REAL YOU- with all of its imperfections, bumps, and bruises. But in Christ, you don’t have to spin, weave, or hide who you really are or what you really struggle with. The “real you” may struggle with doubt, self-esteem issues, lust, fear, anxiety and a laundry list of other issues. But you can be free.
Are You Living Free?
Galatians 5:1 reminds us, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” The “real you” is truly loved by God, even with your mess. God knows it all, and despite your struggles, still chose to die for you to give you the opportunity to live truly and freely. But you have to be real: real with God and real with others. You cannot do it on your own. You need others to remind you of truth and challenge you to strive for the freedom that has been purchased for you.
What does “struggling well” look like for you? Would it be different if you let others struggle alongside you?