Christ can give you the freedom to stop pretending. Of course, superficial Christians – those who have been wearing their masks for so long that they seem sewed on – will probably reject you. Those who put you on a pedestal and worship there will feel so shocked they might, for a period, not want to have anything to do with you. Religious leaders into control will probably kick you out of their groups, because honesty and control hardly ever sleep well together. Those kinds of people will probably pray for you and give you a wide berth.
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 110
It is very important that you get your self-image from Jesus. He will never lie to you, and he will always love you. Don’t ask your enemy to tell you the truth about yourself. The enemy will use the opportunity to tell you that you’re ugly and that your daddy cuts your hair weird. Don’t even ask someone who loves you and sees you through the eyes of love.
Instead, go to Jesus and ask him. He loves you and will tell you the absolute truth. He will always temper that truth with his kindness and his grace, and nothing he shows you will change the way he feels about you. You will always be valuable to him…and ultimately, only he determines value. Once you know two things – his unconditional love and the truth about yourself – you will rest easy.
And you will be free.
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 106
If you have come to the place where you think you are wonderful and good and spiritual, when you really aren’t wonderful, and good and spiritual, you’re probably in for it. As Revelation reminds us, there is nothing worse than being wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked – except of course, not knowing that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. If you belong to God, he won’t let you get away with it forever. He is the God of circumstances, and he will allow reality to break in on your fantasy.
Don’t waste it. He’s trying to set you free.
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 103
We hear a lot of drivel (and some wisdom) these days about the importance of a good self-image and the devastation caused by a bad one. I would suggest that the only valuable self-image is the one that reflects the reality of who we truly are. Anything other than that, good or bad, is a lie – and we eventually have to face the truth.
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 100
One of the problems of cultural Christianity – wherein we lay down rules and regulations, measuring Christians (and ourselves) by how closely they (and we) come to conforming to those rules and regulations – is that it gets really hard to tell who is good and who isn’t. I believe that our concepts of godliness have become so skewed that a truly godly person doesn’t even know he or she is godly. For the same reason, I don’t believe we know who is and who isn’t godly.
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 91-92