Friday, April 5, 2013

To Be, rather than To Seem

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this phrase:

Esse quam videri

It is a Latin phrase meaning

"To be, rather than to seem”.

To be: who you really are
To seem: who you want people to think you are


Because let’s face it, don’t we really want our yard to appear like this:


Not this?


Or if you’re a mom, don’t you want to seem like this?


Not like this?


But I wonder . . . if there’s freedom in BEING instead of SEEMING? Seeming to have it all together is too exhausting. And at the heart of it is discontentment, competition, comparison, guilt, fear, and shame.

I asked you ladies a few weeks ago why we compare? Why do we struggle with comparison so much? And pleaded for all of us to stop. Because all it does is make us live in competition with one another instead of true community. It makes us more worried about appearance and how we seem, than who we truly are created to be.

And sometimes the place we want to seem the best is at church. We want to seem the most spiritual, the most knowledgeable, the most faith-filled, the most put together, the most Proverbs 31ish.

Instead of just being. Being tired, being someone who is in the midst of hard, being exhausted, being real, being teachable.

We studied hypocrisy this week in Academy and it just hit me. If we are more worried about how we seem, we are missing who God created us to be.

If we are more consumed with being seen, we’re missing the point.
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)

You don’t think God knows what’s really going on that heart of yours? Mind of yours? Home of yours?

I would rather be in right relationship with the LORD, than seem like I am. I would rather be a disciple, than seem like I am. I would rather be a branch connected to the True Vine, than seem to bear fruit.

I would rather be a good neighbor, than seem like I am. I would rather be a good wife in secret, than seem like I am in public. I would rather be the woman God created me to be (thinker, writer, teacher) than seem like the woman Pinterest wants me to be (crafter, baker, Susie homemaker).

I would rather be honest in the struggle, than seem like I have it all together.

I would rather practice my righteousness in secret to be seen by my Father in Heaven, than practice my righteousness in public to be seen by others.

I would rather be than seem.

Let’s put away our appearance of holiness, and be true disciples.

“Cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)


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