To Be OK or Not OK?
King David wrote in the Psalms, “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”1
A very popular pop-psychology book written back in the late sixties was Thomas Harris’ I’m OK - You’re OK. There’s been some suggested other titles such as, “I’m Not OK and You’re Not OK but That’s OK,” and not surprising in our culture a more sarcastic one, “I’m OK – You’re an Idiot.”
In Anthony De Mello's book, Awareness, he says, “People tell you, ‘I think you're very charming,’ so I feel OK. I get a positive stroke [and that boosts my ego and I feel great for the moment]. I'm going to write a book someday and the title will be, I'm a Donkey, You're a Donkey. That's the most liberating, wonderful thing in the world, when you openly admit you're a donkey. It's wonderful. When people tell me, ‘You're wrong.’ I say, ‘What can you expect of a donkey?’"2 (De Mello did use a different word for donkey.)
Now, before you write me off as rattling off in psychobabble, understand what Fr. De Mello was saying; that is, we need to get real and admit what we truly are. This is not a put-down in any way, but only as we see ourselves the same as God sees us are we free to change and become all that God envisioned for us to be. Actually, until we admit what we truly are and accept ourselves as we are—warts and all—we are not free to change and grow because we just hide behind a false mask living in denial–a self-defeating and deadly way to live.
As King David declared in today’s Scripture, how joyful he became when he came out of denial, lived in complete honesty, and confessed his sins and received God’s forgiveness. All his guilt was gone! A great and joyous way to live.
Remember that while God loves me as I am, he loves me too much to leave me as I am. He wants me to grow up into the fullness of my salvation and become all that He envisioned for me to be.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please deliver me from the sin of denial and give me the courage to see myself as You see me—and accept myself as You accept me—so I am free, with Your help, to become all that You planned for me to be. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Psalm 32:1-5 (NLT).
2. Anthony De Mello, Awareness, http://www.demello.org/.