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The risk and reward of being real

"While Adele has a powerful voice, it was not her singing that struck me." The latest column by Tim Pippus
It's okay not to be okay
The latest column by Tim Pippus.

When I heard that pop star Adele was broadcasting a concert, I recorded it because I thought my girls might like it.  What I did not expect was that this event would impact me in such a profound way.

While Adele has a powerful voice, it was not her singing that struck me. Rather, it was the interview she gave between the songs. 

Instead of bragging about her success, Adele said things like, “I realized that I had everything, but I was not happy.” She went on to talk about feeling insecure, lonely, sad and isolated. Her career could not have been better, but her life was a mess.

With a new album coming out, Adele had to make a choice. She could keep pretending and put out a bunch of songs that did not mean much, or she could be honest and sing about how she really felt. Being honest was going to be hard, but she realized that being fake is even more difficult, so she wrote a whole album about her real emotions.

As I listened, I was moved to tears. It was such an unexpected and brave thing to do.

We have been trained to be tough. We are expected to say, “I am fine” when people ask, “How are you?” We act as if ignoring our emotions and stuffing them down will make them disappear, but they just come out in strange and damaging ways.

Most surprisingly, we tend to believe that if we are honest, no one will like us, but the opposite is true. I like Adele more now simply because she was real. 

One of the most beautiful parts of the gospel message is that we can stop pretending. God is not impressed with our fake show. In fact, he is waiting for us to acknowledge our struggles and trust him. Once that happens, everything changes.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

We will never find our real life by being fake. 

Maybe it is time to take a risk, be honest, and trust God.