Falsely Perfect or Truly Broken

A while back, a friend and I met for coffee. We chatted away about our families and life but towards the end of our time together, she began sharing with me about a personal issue. It wasn’t devastating but it definitely wasn’t something she’d want to tweet or post on her Facebook page. She had made a bad choice and because of it, a relationship had been severed. Openly she poured out all the details of how a few bad decisions had led to a regretful action.

The next day she called to thank me for being a sounding board (as opposed to “sounding bored”). Our time together allowed her to process her thoughts. It gave her the courage to reach out to her other friend and work to rebuild the friendship.

After we hung up, I thought about how much I admired my friend. Her humbleness and transparency was helping her to right a wrong and to move beyond it in a healthy way. She wasn’t hiding her mistakes but instead she was owning up to them and beginning the healing process.

Hiding our mistakes is something that often does more harm and rarely helps us save face – instead it can wedge into our souls and tear them apart. Here are three things I see it doing…

1.    Builds the wrong things up – Hiding mistakes leads us into lying and our focus becomes building the story to cover our mistake instead of working to rebuild what’s broken. Nothing good ever comes out of a lie. It breaks trust, misdirects our focus and drains valuable energy. God hates a lying tongue for a reason.

2.    Builds bad self-esteem – We all have crude in our lives and will forever make blunders.  God gave us a conscience and when we live a lie, we can’t feel good about ourselves. Our minds will often make a situation seem worse than the truth and we begin to internally tear ourselves apart.

3.    Builds walls – Hidden “stuff” builds walls around us and prevents others from truly knowing us. We’re unable to fully receive friendship and love when there’s a part of us that we are hiding. The amount that we are loved is dependent on how well we are known. If we don’t allow our full self to be known, we miss out on being wholly loved.

Sharing our full selves builds bridges. When my friend shared her story with me, I felt closer to her. She had invited me deeper into her life and it opened the door, making me feel free to be myself too.

I have to admit, this is not always easy for me butI’d much rather be a person who is truly broken than falsely perfect.

How do you handle your mistakes?



  1. J. Adelli Carleton says:

    Love your perspective, your love of your friend and eloquent ability to share your beautiful perspective with others. Really great to read and share with others. Thank you~

  2. Laurie Russell says:

    Aw..thank you J. Adelli Carleton – I appreciate the encouragement. It’s easy to share stories like this when we have wonderful friends in our lives to write about. 😉

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