I am an Ugly Duckling Christian.
For the un-initiated let me explain. When God is doing serious work in our lives there may come a time when we can no longer present a facade, a mask to those around us. What we are is what you get. If we are having a bad day it shows, if we are happy we can not but help to share it with all those around us, and when we are emotional then the tears are there, ready to flow, for happy or sorrow. An Ugly Duckling Christian is not about apperances or looks, he is in God's hands. God is teaching him, showing him, dealing with his life and relationship. A man in the hands of God will learn that there is nothing on this earth that is of any importance. That the greatest purpose that he can have here is to bring forth the will of God in his life. God brings about these changes, this growth with trial, tribulation and pain. The prideful nature of the man must be broken and made to submit to God's will. The soul of the man is shown in stark contrast to the perfection of God, his every sin brought in to judgment, every action given meaning with the motive that drove it, the "ugliness" that is within him is brought out and dealt with. A Christian that is going through this "Training Program" will develop an entirely different set of values that will, at times, seem self destructive, counter-productive to our culture and just plain "weird". To an Ugly Duckling Chrisitan work, home and church become tools for the purpose of Jesus. What I am saying here is that a Christian that is going through this process is being changed in significant and powerful ways, his values may change, his outlook on life will be less self and his whole purpose for living will be drastically altered. And it can be very ugly.
I am an Ugly Duckling Christian. God has taken my life and turned it completely upside down, then shaken it out. What I thought as noble acts are shown to be nothing more then acts of pride, the motives for my work are selfish and the basis of my cherished hobbies are self serving. I am shown to be a thief and liar, a man that delights in the hurting of others and full of boastful words. There is no truth in me and everything that I do stinks. God must empty me of these things and replace them with his will, his perfection, his truth. I am a work in progress, a work of God, a work to his glory and holiness, and while this work is going on I may appear "ugly' to those that do not understand what is going on in my life, my life and the lives of other Ugly Ducklings.
But for all the ugliness that is being revealed in these "works" of God there is no other Christian in the world that can better understand what you are suffering, the trials and tribulations that you may be going through. An Ugly Duckling Christian truly understands the worth of prayer, he's not worried about the knees of his pants, he will get down there in the muck and pray with you. An Ugly Duckling Christian knows what sacrifice is, God is requiring the sacrifice of all that he has and all that he is. An Ugly Duckling Christian is learning that being still and listening is part of the conversation.
An Ugly Duckling Christian can be a challenge to be with, but even with all the embarrassment that being with him entails, you can keep your smooth talking, bright smiled, always cheerful Christian with the immaculate dress suit. Give me a Christian that God is working with and is more concerned with his relationship with God then he is about how he appears to those around him.