My husband and I are reading a book on communication skills. One section seemed particularly interesting. It also struck home in a way that, as I think of it, makes me a little sad.
The idea is that we greet each other in passing with statements like, " How are you?" Of course, the universally accepted reply is, "I’m fine." I do not consider myself a habitual liar, yet those words have escaped my mouth at moments in my life that were far from being described in any form as "fine."
Here is a small example in the style related in the book:
Susan sees her old friend, Debbie, at the grocery store. "It’s so great to see you, Debbie! How are you?" Debbie says, "I’m just fine. How’s your husband and kids?"
Susan answers: "Great! We’re keeping busy!" (Here’s the real, behind the scenes story—Susan’s husband was just laid off from his job and three weeks ago they found out that their teenaged daughter was pregnant. Debbie has been feeling "down" for several weeks and she was diagnosed with mild depression. Now, she’s trying to adjust to the medication.)
Why does this seem sad? Because the reality of this scenario points to the fact that we do not feel an unconditional acceptance by others that would enable us to be transparent about our circumstances. Do we feel that way about God, as well?
He already knows our struggles. He knows the concerns of our hearts. Nothing is kept secret from Him. The emotional walls that are built around our hidden fears and misgivings are ineffective in keeping the watchful and all knowing God from entering.
When God says, "Tell me how you are," why not open up the rusty gate of truthfulness and say what really comes to mind.
He will always, always listen.