A Key to Intimacy
I was wrong.
I was in my 20’s when I first learned the meaning of this phrase. It’s not that I didn’t know what these words meant. For years I had used the word “I” and the word “was” and the word “wrong.” I just had rarely used them all together. In a complete sentence.
It was not that I thought I was infallible. Of course not. I knew I was not perfect and that I made mistakes. Who doesn’t? However, I was not confronted on a regular basis of my deficiencies.
And then I got married.
Now, this is not to say that my wife was always telling me what a screw up I was. She did have to sleep at night. That was a joke (just in case you missed it…and in case she reads this).
However, when I was single I could more easily manage what people saw and their experience of me. I did a lot of “image management” – as we all do. It’s part of being human. We all want people to believe that we better than we are.
And so we exaggerate our accomplishments, make excuses for our misbehavior, rationalize our self-centeredness, and resist admitting we are wrong. We try to create a picture of who we would like to be, rather than who we truly are.
We have a deep desire to be loved. We desperately want to be accepted and treasured. This is the central passion in our lives. However, this passion is not a character flaw. This is not because we are broken or messed up. This is how we were divinely created. This is part of God’s beautiful design. This passion is from God.
However, how we fulfill this passion is crucial.
For someone to completely and fully know us, with all our flaws and defects and deficiencies – that’s scary. That’s risky. That’s dangerous. When that happens, we can experience short term instability in the relationship. And yet, that is the only place where we can know true intimacy.
To be fully known and fully loved satisfies the deepest longing of our soul. No one knows us better than God. When we understand his deep love for us – our lives will be transformed forever.
If we want to experience true intimacy with others, there is only one way to do that. Stop the image management. Practice saying “I was wrong.” And let people know who you really are. When you do that – you and your relationships will be transformed.
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