- Actor – The ‘hypocrite’ is the mask-wearing actor.
- Audience – He is concerned for what others think, not who he is.
- Applause – He plays for approval, popularity, and recognition.
- Authenticity – What is really important is not the part he plays, but who he is
Before ‘coming out’ the gay teenager, the secret Christian, the cocaine addict, is an actor. After ‘coming out’ to live an authentic life I must move on:
- I embrace failure not as unforgivable sins, indelible black marks or huge weights that hold me back or pull me underwater so that I drown. I accept my failures and learn vital lessons.
- I take responsibility for past mistakes and failures, present contradictions and muddles and future decisions and behaviour. I take responsibility for learning from my past, making good choices and building a better future.
- I accept myself: I don’t beat myself up for failing to live up to my own standards. I don’t compare myself to others. I accept myself – a unique blend of gifts, failures, flaws, experiences and hopes.
- I forgive myself: I don’t live in a prison of shame, anger or embarrassment; I don’t hold on to pain and self-pity. I look in my mirror and say ‘I forgive you for past and present failures.’
- I love myself: Imove through acceptance and forgiveness to love. I learn with ‘kind-sight’ as well as hind-sight. As I love and appreciate myself I see quite how magnificent aspects of me really are.
- I appreciate God: As I come out as ‘me’, without my actor’s masks, I see more fully my loving Father God. He accepts, forgives and loves me. He shows me how to accept, forgive and love myself. He sees me with kind-sight and gives me the strength, as me, to move on.
* This morning I read Matthew 6; ideas helped by a sermon from Angus Lyon 11th April 2010
**Ideas from Tania Bright ‘Be Kind to Ourselves’ Premier Christianity 10th Aug 2015