Whenever I have found myself in a tough spot I have always felt like I needed to keep it from others. My mind comes up with all kinds of reasons why I shouldn’t let others know I am struggling. You shouldn’t burden them. They don’t really care about your problems. You don’t want to seem like a complainer. People don’t like sad people. In those times of struggle I looked around and only saw people who had never struggled like I did. I was embarrassed to share with all these perfect people that I was far from their equal.
God has called us to be uplifting to one another. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)” I truly don’t think we can lift up each other until we can speak our own truths. It is hard for someone who is hurting or in sin to open up to someone if that person has never been open with them. By sharing your story you can create a reputation as an honest person to talk to. Do not make the mistake of never sharing your own struggles because it makes you look either perfect (thus discouraging others who are struggling), or you look like a fraud (pretending to be better than everyone else).
Think of it this way, if all you ever do is talk to others about the good things in your life you are taking away the power of Christ’s grace. You should boast in the power of our God. “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)” In order to boast about what He has done for you, you have to share about the mistakes you made that he saved you from. What did the cross do for you?
My mom used to tell me, “You either learn from someone else’s example or you learn from your own experiences.” Why shouldn’t we be out there, as Christian brothers and sisters, sharing our experiences as openly and honestly as we can in order to save others from making our own mistakes? “25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body…29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:25,29)”
When I was in those tough spots the people around me got me through by sharing with me the similar struggles that they overcame. I want to be that person to others, easy to approach. I don’t want to hide my mistakes for they are what brought me to Christ. If I can also use them to bring others closer to Him then I will. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)” Being known as someone who has overcome sin and struggle is not something to be embarrassed about, it is your testimony and by sharing you may attract people who need to hear about the grace and love of God.