I’ve always said that one of my goals in life is to get over myself. One of the keys to doing this is to identify and kill the false self, or what one might call the poser.
There are I suppose different reasons we pose but the main one I find is how I view myself in relation to how I view others and what I think they think of me.
What’s funny about this of course is that we are all posers. So when I meet someone else, most of the time, I’m meeting that persons pose. This just exasperates the problem because I don’t even consider that fact. Instead what I do is compare my true view of myself (which is usually my insecurities etc) with the pose of the other person. This leads me to pose more – lest they find out that I’m not as good as their posed persona. Exhausted yet? Yeah we all are.
Jesus is of course constantly trying to take out the poser in people. Think of just about every interaction He has with people in the Bible. People are constantly posing around Him. Obviously the Pharisees but many others as well. The rich young ruler and the woman at the well come to mind. Jesus is always cutting to the chase and calling out who the person really is.
We pose in order to hide our wounds, insecurities and sin. It makes us look better, or at least justifies us feeling better about ourselves. As men, we are constantly posing. We could be the “busy guy,” the “funny guy”, the “dominant guy”, the “in charge guy”, the “nice guy”, the “business guy” or the “ministry guy”. We pose, and the bad news is, it works. We actually sort of become known as that. Even if we say we hate that people see us that way, there is comfort in it.
The worst part is that it keeps us from dealing with our real self. It “protects” us from our wounds and hurt. It keeps us from our identity in Christ. We are afraid of our real self being exposed. But if we are in Jesus, we don’t have to be.
Jesus is in the process (sanctification is the official word) of making us who we were created to be. We are becoming. He is restoring us to who we were meant to be when He thought us up. We aren’t there yet of course, but we are on the way. If I’m with Jesus then the truest thing about me is that I belong to Him and my validation comes from that.
This whole posing thing can really kill us as singles in several ways. There’s the obvious stuff when it comes to the opposite sex. But honestly that isn’t really where I’m going today. I think the bigger issue is that killing the poser is basically impossible to do alone.
One of the great things about marriage is that we have to deal with another person, every day. Yes that is hard, but it’s also good. We are relational beings created by a relational God, to be in relationship. You can pose your way all the way to marriage, but at some point, be it a day, a month, a year, whatever, you are going to be exposed. What happens then kind of determines how your marriage is going to go, but that is a different post.
Let’s face it, as a single person it’s just easier to hide. 50% of unmarried people live alone. Think about that. Most of us don’t have friends that really know everything about us. Who knows your hopes, dreams, fears, sin? Who knows the worst thing you’ve ever done or the thing your heart desires most? Who knows what you did last night, last week, last year? Who is your mirror?
But we need to work to kill the poser as best we can, especially as we get older. We should not be 35 and reacting the same way we did 5-10 years ago. We should be more of who we are supposed to be. But to do that, we’ll have to have humility, community, and guts.
Humility to even acknowledge that we pose in the first place and seeking help. Community because we need people who see the real us and fight for our hearts. Guts because honestly, it takes courage to actually deal with our sin patterns, wounds, and insecurities.
If we don’t do this, we get worse, not better. This is a serious issue. There are a lot of 30 something singles in a worse emotional/spiritual/mental state than they were in their 20’s. As we get older, it gets easier to hide. Less people ask questions – we aren’t the young unmarried guy who needs a mentor. We are the mentor. That is when it really get’s crazy.
What is your pose? How are you hiding? Who really knows you?