Are you Known?

Anymore, it seems we live in a world where we create our profiles.  We carefully design our image.  We communicate who we are with caution.  Who we are is now a product of our own creation and we are careful how we present our profiles and to whom.  But our profiles are not the real us.  Through relationships with others, the real us can come out if we allow it.  But how many times do we prevent anybody from knowing who we really are?  Is it that we are afraid that people will judge us?  Probably.

We are so afraid of the judgement of our peers that we quickly misquote Matthew 7:1-2: "Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you" (ESV).  Some like to use this verse to say that you can't exercise wisdom and you can't assess character or actions.  But Jesus called the religious people of his day a "brood of vipers," so he obviously had to judge their actions and character.  And Paul provides some criteria for selecting elders and deacons.  This too obviously requires judgement.  This passage in Matthew serves as more of a warning about how and why we judge, not that we judge at all.  That's the purpose for the explanation in verse 2. 

It seems that as people start to look deeper into our attitudes and character, they begin to know us.  The profile becomes just a page while we become real to them and them to us.  And when people really know us, they can help us grow.  But more importantly, it is when we are known and we know others that we develop meaningful relationships.

Michael Rasmden of RZIM says,
"I can promise you, even if you're the most popular person in the city, if nobody truly knows you, if no one knows your shorting comings, your weaknesses, and your failings, you're one of the most lonely people right now.  I can also promise you that if there is a small group of people around you, whether it's a spouse, or family, or siblings, or friends who know you, the real you, all of your shortcomings, all of your weakness, all of your failings, all of that, and yet they love you, those are the most meaningful relationships you have.  Whenever something great happens, and whenever something terrible happens, they are the first ones you turn to.  Because love doesn't exist in the absence of judgement.  True love only exists in the presence of it.  For the words 'I love you' to be meaningful, the person who speaks them must truly know you."
I think he's right.  Are you known?  Are you loved?  If not, there may be a reason for that.  Desire to know others and be known by them.

* The photo is in the public domain.