Sometimes it seems too difficult to tell “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” when such speaking will reveal a fault or failing about ourselves. It seems much easier to obfuscate – a great word that means to obscure, blur or overcomplicate things so we don’t look so bad in the eyes of other people. The difficulty with this practice is that it doesn’t make us feel better because we have hidden our true self; rather we feel worse. The irony is that many times the failure we’re trying to cover up is so minor that we are the only ones who would judge it harshly if it were known. Everyone else would easily forgive the imperfection.
There are many reasons why we are so obsessed with perfection: culture, family values, education…The goal is to “get over ourselves.” Starting the process with God might be a good idea since we have it on good authority that God will forgive anything if we just admit it. Psalm 32 tells us that this morning, saying, Then I acknowledged my sin to You; my guilt I covered not. I said, “I confess my faults to the Lord,” and You took away my guilt.
Alan Cohen offers a brief prayer in the same mode that addresses God as follows: I want to live from my heart. Help me to be me, without hiding or protecting. Short and to the point, that just might help us to turn our hearts to honest speaking more each day and find the love for ourselves and trust in others that God already possesses in our regard.