A book was suggested to me this summer by one of my instructors. The book was, “The Ragamuffin Gospel,” written by Brennan Manning. The chapter on tilted halos, was one I especially enjoyed because it talked about our ideals about perfection, and the struggle of living up to what God wants us to be.
Some people have their halos so tightly screwed to their heads that it causes headaches, and if they would only loosen a bit, they would see that we are not meant to be absolutely perfect, but perfectly imperfect.
The author mentions, “the tilted halo of a saved sinner is worn loosely and with easy grace. We have discovered that the cross accomplished for more than just revealing the love of God. The blood of the Lamb points to the truth of grace; what we cannot do for ourselves, God has done for us.”
Further in the chapter the author talks about personal honesty, where he says, “without personal honesty I can easily construct an image of myself that is rather impressive.” What he says after that is that “complacency will then replace our delight in God and that many of us do not want the truth about ourselves and that we prefer to be assured of our virtue.” He shared a cute little story:
‘One day a preacher said to a friend, “We have just had the greatest revival our churches ever experienced in many years.”
“How many did you add to your church membership?”
“None. We lost five hundred.”’
The author goes on to say that “to be alive is to be broken, and being broken is to stand in need of grace. That honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness in the truth that we are saved sinners.”Also, there has to be “a beautiful transparency in order for us to be honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.”
Are we just pretending, going through the motions of being a Christian? Or are we trying to find our true selves? We cannot achieve this on our own. We need Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to disseminate what is authentic in us and what is fiction. Being honest about ourselves does not drive God away from us. Honesty will never drive a wedge between us and God. We know through the word that Jesus calls us to be better selves and to serve like he did, so what are we afraid of?
If you think that you must be absolutely perfect to be loveable, let me share these verses with you from Romans 3: 23-24, which reads: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
So, if you see me walking down the street, with my halo akilter, think nothing of it. All is well with me and God. He knows I am not perfect; that is honestly who I am, just me.