It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

03 November 2009

Exposure, Transparency, and Change

8:22 AM Posted by steve flores 1 comment
Someone asked me, “What made your life change stick?” This was after a service, where I just shared my life changing turning point at 19 years old. Anyway, it made me think. I’m not a guru nor do I proclaim to have all the answers, but it did make me think about what made my life change stick. It was a great exercise, so I thought I’d share them in hopes you could use them or share them with someone who would.

Confession to God – As silly as this sounds, I confessed I wasn’t God nor in control of my life. I had spent most of my young life admitting I had it all together or figuring out ways to make “my” life better. All I did was make it worse. I needed to throw pride to the side and confess; admit that He is God and I am not.

Expose the dark areas in my life – By nature, the things we’re ashamed of we hide. Those things hiding will fester and eventually corrupt. I wish I could say I understood this then, but I didn’t. Although, I was sick of all the junk I had hidden. I was ready to get rid of EVERYTHING! I’m glad I did. I feel sorry for those I spilled all my guts to who never even asked. I don’t advise doing that now. Find someone who genuinely loves you and expose the dark areas.

Transparent living – I had developed a great group of friends who would ask the tough questions and live out Christian faith…something I never truly did or knew how. They challenged me to live transparently – life on a stage. This was new to me and honestly frustrated me, greatly. I was used to living a double lifestyle – lead worship Sundays and Wednesdays, every other day live like a heathen. I can’t say sorry enough for those missed opportunities in leading worship. So, this group of friends loved and accepted me as I bumped and scrapped my way along trying to live how Christ would. My life in college was raw, gritty and not pure. But the difference this time, I was honest about where I was or where I was not. My friends displayed the grace of Christ that allowed me to live transparent – I needed that!

Great friends – These guys weren’t just good-hearted; I had plenty of those in high school. All that taught me was all my good intentions are enough to earn the graces of God. Not true – I can’t earn that! The beauty of grace is it’s not earned…it’s given! Love that! These guys were passionate about living for Christ. They weren’t perfect and they opened up to me about their struggles. They were transparent with me too! I had friends who lived out God’s love. I never felt that from a group of guys before. I had based my life on performance, but when I screwed up these guys didn’t waver or bat an eye. Actually, they challenged me to get up and do better. They didn’t pile on, but encouraged me to go further than failure.

It reminds me of a message I spoke in 2004. Here are the points: God’s love is sacrificial, God’s love is unconditional, God’s love is affirming, and God’s love is corrective.

We are instruments in God’s hands to help lead others into God’s radical life change. As we love others like God loves us, it will result in change. It will result in growth. You can’t change people into what you want them to be, but you can create an environment where they can change and grow into what God wants them to be. “...speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Eph. 4:15

I love you guys: Benito Fresquez, Cesar Ruiz, Shannon Dalrymple, Jimmy Jack Montgomery, Josh Roberts, Bobby Flores, Robert Flores. Our prayer times in college created a foundation for my present. You guys have played a role in my life deeper than this blog can convey.