Every person desires relationship, its a fact of life. We were created by a God who infinitely embodies relationship (more on the mind numbing topic of the Trinity in a later post), so is it any wonder that we, on some primal level, desire to be known by somebody other than ourselves? Don't believe me? Check out the number of people using Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, or the amount of emails and text messages you have sent this month. The millions (billions?) of people using these electronic resources prove to me that human beings inherently long for connection. But the question I have to ask is, are we really fulfilling our deep-seeded needs for connection and relationship through a keyboard and a monitor? Maybe it's me, but perhaps people see these electronic means of connection as an easy way to make 'friends'. With limited, or no, face to face physical interaction, online friendships are easy and safe. The person following you on Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace can really only know what you want them to know about you; you're secrets, flaws, and quirks are all safely hidden. Ask yourself this, how many of your Facebook friends do you actually talk with in person or on the phone? If I'm being honest it is a small, small percentage.
We want to be known by other people, we long for relationship, but I think we are truly frightened of real relationships. Why is the divorce rate so high? Most people can't handle the heaviness of a real relationship. Being in a relationship is more than just feeling good and having fun. It is about accountability, honesty, service, and real love (not necessarily the mushy gushy kind, but the kind that puts the other persons needs first). It takes work and sometimes it hurts, but if you are committed to being known by and having a true connection with another person you have to dig down past the superficial junk and do some real soul work. 'Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another' (Proverbs 27.17).
With God things are no different, except that they are...sort of. God wants to know us, deeply. And he already does, because, well, he's God and he is all-knowing. But he wants us to want him to know us. Let me try and explain that tongue twister. God's desire is that we would want to share our innermost thoughts, fears, dreams, issues, temptations, and successes with him. He wants to be in a real relationship with us. He wants more than our tweets and wall posts, he wants the whole person that he uniquely created. But that relationship is going to be hard, because God is going to push us, grow us, and send us through trials, but in the same breathe he is going to love us, support us, and guide through those tough times. The end goal is redemption, that we might be in right standing before God and in that right standing our relationship with him would be restored to the way it was originally created to be.
Don't be afraid to be known, by people or God. It is tough because it causes us to change, but real relationship is what our soul longs for. I'm not saying we should ditch our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or our blogs for that matter, all I'm saying is that we need to become acutely aware of where we place our relational values. Do we settle for giving people the Facebook version of our lives, or are we honest and real with them?