Her own family were plain, matter-of-fact people who seldom aimed at wit of any kind; her father, at the utmost, being contented with a pun, and her mother with a proverb; they were not in the habit therefore of telling lies to increase their importance, or of asserting at one moment what they would contradict the next. ~ Northanger Abbey
Being honest seems simple enough until put into practice. We want something about ourselves to be true, so we speak as if it is—only, that is where the truthfulness ends because our actions reveal our words to be lies.
As we see with the Thorpe siblings in Northanger Abbey, they speak loudly of what they wish were true in their lives but, as time goes on, Catherine see that their behavior is contrary to their self-professed assessments. We read these characters as comical, but do we ever stop to ask if we don’t have something in common with them?
Just yesterday I caught myself bragging about an opportunity I have been given. It is a true opportunity, but my heart wanted the person I was telling to think me cool because of it. Really, I am not cool. I am a nerdy Fandom girl—and I usually like it that way. Instantly I felt regret and asked God, “Why do I do this to myself?” Especially since this opportunity hasn’t come to pass yet. A million different things could get in the way of it ever happening.
My example may not be exactly like the Thorpes—although I’ve believed many Thorpes in my life and have learned to be wary of Thorpe-like behaviors—but, in that instant, I felt like such a fraud. Like I was speaking about someone I wished I were instead of who I actually am—and I hated it. I just want to be me. The person God made me to be. And, I don’t want to try to define myself verbally to others. I’d rather what I do speak to who I am. I don’t want to be a fake. I want to be real and genuine. The best way I know to do that is to stop telling people who I want to be and to just start being who I want to be. They’ll see who I am. God will see who I am. No definitions or labels or faux-coolness needed.
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? ~ James 2:14 (NLT)
Substitute the word “faith” for anything we say about ourselves. What good is it to say we are someone if aren’t actually being that person?
Be real. Be the you, you want to be. No definitions or labels needed.