This is the second in a three-week series camping on two words. This week? Me too.
Writers, communicators, ministers, workers, disciples: the most powerful words you can evoke in a person are these: me, too.
Receiving feedback from readers and listeners to the tune of, “I thought I was the ONLY one in the whole wide world who struggled with ______. But now I don’t feel so alone.”
We live in a world of celebrity Christianity, of untarnished halos, of image-enhancement. We can control everything people see about us, without even having seen them. We can hide behind screens and concoct an entire narrative, a false life, centered around our capabilities.
How does this harm others? It makes folks think that to be a Christ follower, one must be hip, with-it, and altogether acceptable to the culture. Or it makes people feel like their own lives are boring, or hip-less, or bland compared to the exciting lives of those who sit on the stages.
While it’s certainly not wrong to sit on a stage, and all who sit or stand there aren’t manufacturing false, flattering images of themselves, the danger does exist.
And it exists for all of us.
We would rather share our happy-clappy parts than our hidden shame. Ashley Madison showed us that. How many of those folks had positive, awesome Instagram accounts? How many of them appeared upstanding? But behind closed doors, other truths were happening.
If you want to be in the realm of seeing life change in folks around you, your job is to live life in such a way that you evoke a “me too” from them.
- You struggle with your body image? Me too.
- You don’t have it all together as a parent? Me too.
- You struggle with obsessive thoughts? Me too.
- You call yourself awful names in your head? Me too.
- You felt like you were marked so other abusers could easily find you? Me too.
- You doubt the goodness of God? Me too.
- You ache when a friendship ends? Me too.
- You struggle with jealousy? Me too.
- You wish you prayed more? Me too.
- You feel overwhelmed by the world’s evil? Me too.
- You wear the same workout clothes all the livelong day? Me too.
- You ate too much of that dark chocolate bar? Me too.
- You wonder if Jesus loves you today? Me too.
Vulnerability opens up vulnerability. Authenticity breeds more authenticity. Like I shared last week, sometimes you have to go first. Show your real life. Share your real heart. Go out on a scary limb and admit that you struggle too. Truth is both revelation and revolution. The more you share it, the more you discover about yourself, and the more you incite change in others.
So next time you sit down to write. Or when you’re ready to talk. Or when you’re beginning a new ministry…think again about vulnerability. Pray that when people hear or read your message, they’ll sit back and say, “Me too. Now I don’t feel so alone anymore.”