So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
To live your life to fullest expression of who God made you to be takes courage because doing so means allowing yourself to be really seen—warts and all. So many of us just can’t get there. It feels too vulnerable and we’re afraid. This is my story. For much of my life, I hid key parts of myself for fear that if people knew my struggles or weaknesses, they would avoid me. But when we let others see our weaknesses, it gives them permission to do the same. Once we’ve all stepped out of hiding, no longer worried about protecting and managing how we’re perceived, we can step into kingdom work and join with God in seeking those who are lost.
What parts of your story do you most often leave out when building a new relationship? What worries cause you to withhold those parts of your story?
Reflect on the first time you shared the hardest part of your story with someone. Who was it? How did it feel to allow that part of yourself to be seen?
Who do you know that seems to be hiding for fear of being judged or embarrassed? Ask God to show you what he is inviting you to share or to ask as a way to help whomever you identified feel safe and invited to be known.
God, thank you for these words of Jesus. I worry about all kinds of things instead of focusing on your kingdom. Help me to release my worry and fear of how I might be perceived. Allow me to fully embrace my story, good and bad, and give me the courage to be known. Show me who needs encouragement to come out of hiding and may I be a safe place and a gracious presence where others can be seen and known. Amen.