Something has really been bothering me about the church, in general. I’ve been toiling over it, and praying over it. I’ve been searching myself and asking the hard questions.
I want to ask you something.
Why do we, as Christians, need everyone around us to think that we’re ok, when we’re really not? Seriously, why? We have the same trials as the rest of the world. We argue with our spouses. We lose our loved ones. We have our feelings hurt by co-workers. We’re abandoned and abused by our parents. We suffer through private porn addictions, and drug and alcohol addictions. We have serious, life-threatening diagnosis’ given to us at the Dr.’s office. We’re fired from our jobs, suffer through house fires, and we’re burglarized and stolen from. Yet, we’ll smile and say, “God is good!” when someone asks us how we’re doing in the foyer on Sunday morning. Why can we be dying on the inside, but not want anyone to know?
This is a tragedy in the church at-large.
If we could talk with God, face-to-face right now and ask Him, “what is the one thing we need to change about church that would make the biggest impact on this world? I really believe it would be this. He can’t do anything with people who aren’t willing to be real with themselves, with Him, or with each other. Period.
What happened? When did church become so “sterile”? It’s nothing short of a giant “clean room” where you have to put on a happy face, and nice clothes, and keep everything squeaky clean. It’s rare to see anyone confess their weakness, or be transparent enough to put their junk out there to be dealt with. You rarely see people break down and weep, or show anger, or frustration.
I am as guilty as the next person. Why is it so hard to be transparent? More importantly, why don’t we feel comfortable to be transparent in church?
This has to change. If we can’t be real with other Christians, who can we be real with? I read an excerpt off of the website of Anne Jackson’s upcoming new book, “Permission To Speak Freely” that read, “We have to confess to God, and to others so that we can live our lives whole, and healed. We have to identify our brokenness, and ultimately share our story of redemption and rescue with others.”
What is it that you’re carrying around all alone? Isn’t it time to stop posing and pretending that you’re fine. Isn’t it time that we start sharing our burdens, and carrying each other’s burdens, as well?
Am I the only one who feels this way? Please comment below.
4 Replies to “This needs to be said…”
Wayne – I chewed on this on e for a while…
You’re not the only one who feels that way. That said, at times I am sadly among the guilty…but am trying to improve, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I dare say it started in the “garden” and has to do with pride and focusing on self (appearance, etc.) rather than God. We then, in turn imitate each other [the “norm”] rather than being lead/convicted in whole by the Holy Spirit [the “Perfecter”].
Imagine. If we “truly” lived as God intended us to be – fully empowered by the Holy Spirit – I think (I know) we’d be different. We’d still be flawed, but ever so closer to those described in Acts 2:42-47 [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%202:42-47&version=NIV] – who were probably just as flawed as us, but got it (not on their own, but through the Spirit’s leading).
As you know, I’m reading Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. He opens chapter 1 with a quote that has been kicking around in my head since I read it:
“We may as well face it: the whole level of spirituality among us is low. We have measured ourselves by ourselves until the incentive to seek higher plateaus of the Spirit are gone…” – Tozer
Our gaze needs to change – fixing our heart, soul, mind, and strength on pleasing God and then living that out in community…warts and all (’cause we all got ’em)!
Thanks for sharing your heart!
I wrote a great comment to this. It was insightful, smart and had good points. However, just as I was fininshing it up I accidentally deleted it. I was pretty upset.
Thank you for the comment, brother. I’m going to HAVE to start reading Francis Chan! And I loved your statement about needing to change our gaze, and then live it out in the community! So true!
Bummer, Sis! Try again! I want to know what’s on your heart about this! 🙂