Do you ever grow weary of people’s drama and complaints? Do you avoid asking some people, “How are you?” because you know they are going to report their aches, pains, frustrations, and disappointments? Do social media rants make you want to go on a rant?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of those, you and I are kindred spirits.
I would so prefer to hear someone talk about the good things going on in life. I’d rather hang around with glass-half-full people or at least the-glass-is-refillable people. And yes, there are people who I will deliberately avoid if possible, and put a time limit on if avoidance is not possible, because they are joy suckers.
But there is something that we all—especially the person whose face I shave—need to keep in perspective. There is a difference between a self-absorbed whiner and a person who has gathered the courage to cry for help.
One of my new favorite podcasts is the 200 Churches podcast. Though I haven’t yet met them, the hosts of this podcast are kindred spirits of mine in many ways, particularly because they focus on resources for the small (under 200 in attendance – hence the name) church. I also resonate with their light-hearted banter and general tone.
Recently, they did a serious episode that was a departure from the usual. They talked about sexual abuse in the church and interviewed two women who kept their own abuse silent for many years, but who now have a nationwide ministry of hope for victims of sexual violence.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be victims of sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. That’s staggering! I can’t begin to scratch the surface of this particular issue in a single post.
What I want to reflect on is something they said at the end of the podcast. They talked about “the gift of going second” in reference to something that one person makes possible when they break the silence. That first courageous person makes it possible for someone else to say, “Me, too.” What a gift!
I’ve pondered the various ramifications of the gift of going second. Whether a person is breaking the silence about something that was perpetrated on them, admitting a personal struggle with an addiction or harmful habit, or confessing that they don’t understand a perplexity of life or faith, they give others the gift of saying, “Me, too.”
Twelve step programs learned the power of this gift long ago. We all likely have a classmate to thank for asking a question no one else had the nerve to ask. And James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
The right kind of confession not only brings personal healing but gives others the gift of going second.
The right kind of confession brings personal healing and gives others the gift of going second. Click To Tweet
I confess that I don’t deserve it, but my life matters to God. Go ahead and say it: “Me, too.”