"When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, 'Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.'"1
"There's a story about a woman finding herself alone in an elevator with the famous and very handsome Robert Redford. As the elevator moved up the floors, the woman, like many of us might, found herself uncontrollably staring at the movie star. Finally, in her excitement and nervousness, she blurted out: 'Are you the real Robert Redford?' To which Redford responded, 'Only when I'm alone.'"
I think that if I were an actor—especially one as successful as Robert Redford—I might find it very difficult to be the real me when I am not acting a part and may all too readily forget who the real me is.
Even without being an actor, I find that one of the most difficult things in life is to be honest with myself. It's hard enough to know and admit what my true feelings are, let alone my motives! And it's all too easy to act out any part to avoid facing the real me. I may act the part of a super-nice (saccharine sweet) fellow to avoid facing my unresolved anger...or super-brave to hide my hidden fears...or gruff and macho to hide my insecurity and so on.
However, it's only as I get real and courageously honest with myself and God that He can help me to grow and become the person He wants me to be. The same goes for getting close to people. Only to the degree that I am open, honest, and real can I relate intimately with those I love. And, unfortunately, the more I hide my true self the more I will live with others together alone apart—a very lonely and unfulfilling existence.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be real—one in whom there is nothing false—so that I can become all that You planned for me to be and have loving, wholesome relationships with You and all of my loved ones. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. John 1:47 (NIV).