The Shine Mentality Tip of the Week – Seek Truth More Than Comfort

His words burn in my heart like a fire. Its like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! Jeremiah 20:9

Sometimes seeking to stay comfortable is the very thing that keeps us wounded. I’m a counselor at a school and I watched this week as 110 Sophomores squirmed and wrestled with unspoken secrets in their heart at an event we host call “Redo Day”. It’s a day of self-reflection. A day to make amends—to “Say What You Need To Say”. It is a day where it isn’t about comfort but about recognition, where we ask our students to take a good hard look at themselves, and how they’ve let the events in their life shape how they have responded and how they have treated others.

The most beautiful part of it all is seeing defenses fall as one after another owns up to their mistakes and asks for forgiveness. John Mayer plays in the background as one brave soul dares to come face to face with the person they’ve hurt and attempt to mend the deep wounds between them.

“Fighting with the shadows in your head. Living out the same old moment knowing you’d be better off instead, if you could only say what you need to say…Even if your hands are shaking and your faith is broken, even as your eyes are closing do it with a heart wide open. Say what you need to say.”

Jeremiah was just a 17-year kid struggling with his own identity when God put a message in his heart to share with a generation that didn’t want to hear what he had to say. It would have been so much easier for Jeremiah to just go along with the crowd and ignore the message God set ablaze in his heart. Afterall he wasn’t given an easy message to relay. He was asked to stand up against an entire generation and uproot and confront the way they had been living. He was asking them to take a good hard look at themselves because he knew if he didn’t that complete ruin awaited them.

I’ve often related with Jeremiah. I’ve found in my 15 years as counselor sometimes people don’t really want to hear what healing requires. Avoidance is comforting. I get it, I know that looking deep within and facing what lies in the shadows is anything but comfortable. We squirm and fidget trying to find a way out of the pressure. But one thing I know well and have seen unfold over and over again is the self-destruction that results from a life of denial.

Why do we not say what we need to say? The thing we often don’t realize is that the secrets we keep hidden never heal. Secrets exposed to light can be reshaped by a corrected perspective that sets us free from the life-long wrestling match. Unless we fight the shadows in our heads and hearts, we end up sinking deeper into limiting mindset that consume places within meant for the passion that God designed us to express.

I wish there was an easier way my friends, but sometimes you have to face your fears and say the things that terrify you so that you can finally break free of their hold over you. There is a fire within you waiting to be set free, but it can’t if you keep letting your secrets extinguish the embers.

Maybe you need to validate your own pain. Stop denying its existence or rationalizing it away. Find a trusted friend, professional or pastor to makes sense of what you have held inside. The first step to healing is always AWARENESS. I encourage you to look within, pour out your heart to God and connect with others who can help you.

Maybe you are on the other side of the equation and you need to make amends with someone you’ve hurt because you were hurt yourself. Life is too short to not say what we need say and swallow our pride. Witnessing those young souls at redo day confronting the fear of judgment and ridicule to free themselves from the deep torment within allowed beauty to result. A freedom unexpected. A heart finally free to spread more of what they were designed to carry!

Maybe you are like Jeremiah. You have message burning within you to share with the world and yet it terrifies you at the same time. God has asked us to share His message of truth with a hurting world, but he never promised it would be well received. And he definitely never said it would be comfortable! But he did promise Jeremiah that he would put his words within him and I believe he’ll do the same for us today.

God’s truth that he died to set us free and heal our every hurt, burns within me. There is a fire in my bones longing for others to experience the freedom that results when we decide to finally become real with ourselves, confront what is uncomfortable, and say what we’ve been needing to say for way too long. Don’t seek comfort, seek revelation. God’s truth is the only thing powerful enough to set you free!

Be bold ~ SHINE YOUR LIGHT