Evangelist and college minister Jefferson Bethke posted ''Truly Human,'' a YouTube video inspired by Craig Gross’ upcoming book, that encourages living in deep community, despite the effort and potential discomfort that getting ''open'' might involve at first.
Many today live their lives isolated from others. Social media websites make this isolation tolerable – even preferable – with its ability to make people feel connected to one another, albeit on a shallow level. Bethke, known for his thought-provoking YouTube videos, began “Truly Human” by asking a question - “What is the one thing in your life that no one knows about, or what’s that particular area in your heart that you spend almost all of your energy trying to hide?”
While many in the church have experienced the freedom that Christ offers and walk in deep community with other believers, those who don’t might live with guilt and shame over secrets that they feel they can never tell, lest they damage their guise. “We all live behind these propped-up versions of ourselves, masking the shame, putting band aids on the guilt, or trying to suffocate the temptations all by ourselves,” he said of those who have not brought their struggles into the light.
Bethke explains that God created us in His image, and that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have always been in eternal community. “We weren’t created to do it all by ourselves,” he says. He exposed the way that our society is more connected than ever because of technology and social media, yet is one of the most relationally disconnected in all of history. He notes that while one faces the possibility of rejection when being open with others, despair is likely in store for those who choose to live in isolation. He quoted C.S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves:”
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
In light of this monumental problem in America, Bethke recommends getting in a local community becoming open and honest with others. He also suggested reading “Open,” Craig Gross’ upcoming book. “Joy is at stake, and it only happens when we let the guard down,” he said.