I’ve taken issue in my thoughts recently about how our culture has presented a problem. I think the intent was good with whomever first started this but as with everything, there is an upside and a downside.
Talk shows abound with digging into our lives with personal topics that embarrass me. There is nothing personal any longer. It reminds me of the scripture that says it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done in secret (Ephesians 5). “Those things” are listed as immorality, impurity and greed. And yet, all of this is openly discussed (and even displayed) all around us.
There is a tendency to tell all. I am sure that somewhere along the line, someone who was devastated by a traumatic event in their past, was in great pain because of it. To help themselves and help others, they brought it to the forefront for discussion. Discussing such things has it’s place. I am not into secrets. I’m just not into the pseudo stuff today that not only openly discusses everything, but with it, has the potential of hashing and re-hashing the past to the point where the individual involved lives there.
Please understand, I am all about being real. The downside of not opening up at all can also cause one not to face reality. That’s another post.
I’m talking about the “tell all” society we have become and how it causes many to be defined by that past.
An example: I recall about 15 years ago, a celebrity openly talking about her abusive childhood. Her remedy was to confront her accuser, thus “empowering” her. Let’s all just lay the offender out cold, expose him/her to the world, and walk away feeling better about ourselves since we got our pound of flesh.
Really? You really feel better now?
I hadn’t noticed this but further down in Ephesians 5 it says this-
Awake you who sleep, and rise from the dead and Christ shall give you light. In the context of the chapter, face value, “those things” are deeds of darkness and the light shows those things that are hidden in the dark. It is also a principle…a truth…that Christ gives light. And those 3 words make all the difference in how we handle the past.
Christ gives light.
Not exposing everything and everyone in our past. Not telling all through a book we wrote, a talk show… or perhaps…not even in a church meeting.
Our culture affects who we are and to the degree that we allow it, it will define us. The scripture is the lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Does this mean we cannot share with someone? No. But to broadcast to many our demise, exposing others, is not what I see in the scripture. Either is continually reading books on our horrid past. Oftentimes, it leads to people living in the past and it affects their whole outlook on life.
What did people do 100 years ago who faced traumatic situations of abuse in their lives? They did not have the resources or soapboxes we have today. You may say that many suffered in silence. Perhaps they did. Yet, many grew strong through it.
I think there is more accomplished in us through what we don’t say than what we could say. People like this are admirable and inspiring. They exhibit strength, maturity, wisdom, and integrity.
There is nothing that cannot be healed in our souls that God cannot fix. He came to heal the brokenhearted, to set your bound soul free, and to release you from the prison of your past (Isaiah 61).
When we do things different than the world, we will then be true lights unhindered by cultural bushels.