(Photo by Natalie Baugh)
Shedding Your Layers
By Bella Martinez
Summer and fall melt away, and in comes the colder weather that winter brings. You bundle up to stay warm, guarding your body from the crisp, cool wind and rain. Just as we people add on layers to guard ourselves from the cold, we can at times add on behavioral layers to make it seem like we have our lives together, or emotional layers to avoid looking at heart issues.
There are many ways we as people hide behind facades, making it look like we have our lives together on the outside, because it’s easier than admitting we’re dealing with the stresses and issues life can bring. I browse social media often, and come across profiles of people who look like they have the perfect life, perfect family, perfect style, even their pictures all coordinate in color. There’s nothing wrong with having a great looking profile, but sometimes our perfect profiles turn into a reality we are trying to create. It can carry over into the way we talk to people. When someone asks “How are you?” I’ve been guilty of defaulting to “fine” when my life was anything but fine.
Even at church or around other Christians, we can put on layers rather than getting the help we need. It may be because you fear judgement, criticism, or that people will look at you differently. The truth is that these are lies from the enemy in an attempt to ensure you have unresolved problems. Jesus desires us to be honest with Christians, as Colossians 3:9 tells us “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.”
At times we may even try to hide from the Lord by putting on layers to avoid problems of the the heart. When you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, do you wholeheartedly seek the Lord or find yourself dwindling in your faith? This may look like half-hearted prayers, avoiding reading the Word, going to church and leaving as soon as service ends. Jesus says to us in Hebrews 4:13 “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Just as Adam and Eve failed to hide from the Lord, neither can we or should we try to.
As Christians, we may add on the layers when the going gets tough, but Jesus implores us to shed our layers and be honest with Him and with ourselves. In 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord says to Samuel “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” In the same way, let’s not promote our outward appearances or judge people by theirs, but rather shed our layers, be honest with ourselves, to others and before the Lord. Amen.