by Robin Alcala
Think of your favorite celebrity or athlete. Do you have them in your head? Are you visualizing them? Do you know what high school they attended? What is their favorite color? Their favorite food? What about their favorite musician? Well even if you may know everything about them, do you know them?
Do you know your favorite celebrity or athlete as well as you know your mailman or the store clerk you see frequently? Do you know them as well as you know a co-worker? Do you know them like your best friend? Do you know them as well as you know a sibling, a parent or your spouse?
It seems that when people say, “Oh yeah, I know them,” that in most situations, they really mean, “I have heard of them before, or a friend of mine is friends with them.” Occasionally, they have met them once or twice before.
Just because you can google someone, or are friends with an individual on Facebook, or even have the capacity to interact with an acquaintance smoothly, does not necessarily constitute the existence of a deep friendship or relationship. To truly know someone, there must be more involved.
With that considered, how then do you get to know someone? You are first introduced and brought into social contact. From there you get “acquainted.” This process includes gaining a personal knowledge through experience. Though you may find yourself on terms of familiarity, your relationship is not yet intimate. To know someone, you must first “get to know them.”
Since you can only know someone if they actively share information with you, particularly intimate, private information, then there is an active element on the part of the person you come to know. It is the degree of communication between you that makes knowing someone so meaningful. Each person perceives each other as worthy of being allowed into their life. When sensitive information is shared, it reflects a great deal of trust and vulnerability. Please hold that thought for a moment…..Do you know God?
We find in 1 Timothy 6:21 an unfortunate reality, “Some people have missed the most important thing in life—they don’t know God.”
When we get to know a person, one of the ways we accomplish it is by spending time with them. You watch their mannerisms, expressions, the ways they communicate, you listen to them, understand how they think, and learn how they feel. It is no different when getting to know God.
You must spend time with Him to get to know Him. Otherwise, all that you may ever know will be second hand knowledge. How many times have you met someone, and before you met them, you had a totally different opinion of them based on hear-say and other people’s comments?
But when you met them for yourself, you perceived a completely different impression. Then getting to know them on a deeper level, you knew and were convinced that what you had been told was not factual insight and knowledge about this person at all; whether it was negative or positive.
Too often, God gets a bad rap from secular, anti-God individuals. Other times, He gets a bad rap from the extremely religious individuals that call themselves Christians. The Christians that I am referring to are not all extremists either. These are the judgmental, critical, manipulative and controlling individuals and ministries. Most people can be this way occasionally. But they are living a lifestyle of beating others up because they don’t think, talk, and walk exactly like them! There is a definite difference between instructing, encouraging, and enabling people to be the best version of themselves, versus trying to clone individuals into one’s “perfect” image of themselves.
God gave us the Scriptures so we could get to know how He thinks and feels about us, along with everything that concerns us in this life. Psalms shows us how to be authentic when we pray and talk to Him. It is a worship and prayer manual, full of thanksgiving and petitions. But it is also full of fears, doubts, resentments, and ranting. When you read the emotional confessions of David and others, God wants you to talk to Him the very same way. Do not hold back any of your feelings. Share your true feelings, not what think you ought to feel or say.
What causes insecurity in relationships? Don’t we usually feel comfortable with someone we know and whom we feel safe with? Someone we feel safe with to just be ourselves, to be real, to express our true thoughts, opinions, and feelings with? Aren’t we unafraid of being criticized? Or of being judged or rejected?
When someone truly knows us, and chooses to still value us, doesn’t it make us feel safe and loved? Doesn’t it remove that fear of abandonment?
Your Creator… our Creator, He knows us better than we know ourselves. We may be able to hide our true feelings from others, and even from our own selves, but you we cannot from Him. He knows the good, the bad, and the ugly…. yet, He values and loves us anyway.
The more you get to know God, you will become acclimated with how much you actually mean to Him, then fear will be extracted from every part of your life, by the power of His love.