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Be Real

Today’s Reflection

YOU MIGHT WONDER WHY I would want you to know about my story. Why would I want to share my journey when it means admitting that I don’t have it all together? The reason is because I believe with all my heart that vulnerability and authenticity are the only way to find wholeness in Jesus Christ. We’re not meant to gloss over or skim the surface, pretending our way through life. Jesus invites us to be real with him and with one another. Within [the pages of Soul Reset] are stories of my depression, despair, burnout, and shame. I’m not here to tell you that followers of Jesus will always have big houses, pain-free living, and all the happiness in the world. It’s just not true. I’m not here to tell you that leaders, regardless of the scope of their public platforms, have it all together and never suffer pain, loss, or sadness. I am here to tell you that I believe in the holistic, healing love and salvation in Jesus Christ, who walks with us in the valleys and brings beauty from ash heaps again and again and again. I am here to tell you that I have been on the mountaintops and in the valleys, and I have discovered that we need a reset in our souls. We need to share stories so that others will too. When we’re free to be real, that’s when the real joy comes.

—Junius B. Dotson

Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness Upper Room Books.

Today’s Question

How can we create a community where we can be authentic and honest about our struggles as well as our joys?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him My Savior and my God.”
—Psalm 42:11 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (NRSV) Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Bj September 5, 2019, 6:40 am

    Almighty God! Thank You, God for Your mercies and thank You for Your amazing grace. Jesus, I love You, I need You, and I cannot get along with You. To all of the UR family, may the Lord bless you, and keep you this day and always. May this day be filled with His Peace.

  • Julie September 5, 2019, 8:12 am

    I believe we have such a community here in this group. Thhis is evident in many ways but most striking to me is that first time posters post when they have dire needs and want prayer. We are a prayerful and accepting bunch who share our shortcomings which empowers and emboldens others to do likewise.
    Prayers for healing for Andrea, Connie, Erich and Marcy.
    Prayers for Robert, may his gums heal quickly and with little discomfort. There was a water main break in our area which disrupted water service to a large portion of our township so I was without all water, not just hot. But thank you for sharing your own water issues.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry, may the upcoming anniversary bring warm memories only.
    Prayers for Lou, may she find a new way to fill her empty nest hours.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may all be blessed abundantly.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you for being who you are dear UR faithful

  • robert moeller September 5, 2019, 8:20 am

    I think since the time after Christ’s resurrection, there have been few times when Christians have actually accomplished a community where we can be authentic and honest about our struggles as well as our joys. I find it harder to be real with humans than with God. My Bible study is approaching this, but complete honesty requires trust. Only in God can we completely trust.

    Thankful for a dental, gum, and bone graft procedure yesterday. The bleeding and pain have stopped. Hope the outcome is positive. Prayers that the UR community, my church community, and my family all have God’s will healing. As Jesus would say,”Your will not my will be done.” Prayers for peace, reconciliation, or resolution according to God’s will, His purpose, His plan. God knows best.

    In Jesus’ name, I pray. Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill September 6, 2019, 3:23 am

    Yes, for sure, this is a place where we are able to be honest about our struggles, our victories, our truth. And I am grateful for each post-er, for the encouragement, the prayer support.
    I am being convicted by this reading – as my small group Bible study began this past Wednesday. The groups have kinda been re-ordered and there were many new faces in my group. I was given the option of going with my original leaders to another group, or “remaining” where I was. But – there were really only 3 hold-overs along with one member who is now our group leader. I did not share how deeply I had been struggling in the past week – beginning with my student’s father’s death. My introverted self was introverting and I was not authentic. I believe what the writer says – to build that trust, I must open up. Our group is quite diverse in age and I so treasure the younger generation of my church and their willingness to participate and be transparent. They were pretty quiet. I feel that next week I need to be more honest about where I am, and maybe this will be an avenue for more sharing.
    Part of my quietness, I believe, was due to the fact that dad and I had gone to dinner prior to study. We had lots of good conversation which ultimately turned quite serious and intense on the way home, as we stopped for ice cream. He says he does feel like it is getting easier, but that he can break out in tears at a moments notice. He will pick up a pizza tonight and bring it over to my house for dinner.
    Kinda settling in at school – glad today is Friday. All the first week signs are there – sore throat from using my “teacher voice” so much, aching feet, fatigued legs. But, grateful for the new students I have met and for my returning students and their maturity.
    Psalm 62…many times…”for God alone, He alone”. Yes, Father – You alone are my comfort in silence, my salvation, my strength, my stronghold. You are my God. And I am so grateful.

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