My friend, Kimberly, tells me when it comes to communication in her household she and her family’s motto is to “keep it real”! That means no holding things inside, no pretense, no fake it till you make it for them. And she and I have been business partners for years and that’s how we go about our friendship too. I don’t have to be afraid to give her suggestions about our partnership, she listens and vice versa. And, that’s the same vision I have for “Growing Up in Grace”. I want to “keep it real”.
I’ve been in services where we had visiting evangelists come and preach such great messages, but afterwards when you go to shake their hand and compliment them, it’s like they’re a different person than the one who just preached. That always left me wondering and confused. Many of us go to church every Sunday with big smiles on, but inside we’re almost at the brink of destruction and nobody knows it, because we’ve learned to hide our pain well.
We don’t bring up touchy subjects for fear that someone will get offended and not come back to church again. We’re afraid to deal with a family member making awful life decisions, because they may be mad. What’s this all about? God says in The Word, whom He loves He chastens (Hebrews 12:6). If we don’t keep it real (in love), how can anyone be saved in the end?
I’m not saying we should go around wearing our emotions on our sleeves, but I don’t think we need to pretend that all is right in the world when we clearly need help either. There should be open dialog in our churches and we should have great rapport with each other to be able to confess to struggles, ask for prayer and help and get it without being judged, ridiculed, talked about and denounced.
I’ve been a Christian since I was 25, but not all those years did I live the way I ought to have. I struggle with things now and I won’t deny that. I love Jesus with all my heart and soul, but this life is not easy to live. And, I don’t like to pretend that I’m happy 24/7.
My wish for the church is that hurting people don’t have to pretend to be holy just to fit in. I wish that people could come Jesus and to the church and get the help they need to turn their lives around so that God gets the glory. We didn’t come to Jesus all pretty, primped, and prestigious either and He took us in. I remember my messed up life when I first became born-again. How can I look on someone else with condemning eyes because their life needs help?
I hope and pray that God will work through me to encourage anyone along so that the love I have for The Lord will shine through. Genuine love and concern is what’s missing today…we’re too busy with life. We teach pretty lessons, but we go home depressed and angry. We come to church to hear a life changing message, but we go out anything but changed and I’m talking about me too.
It’s time to “keep it real”, it’s time to stop playing with God and church. Time to get serious about our walk, if we’ve decided that Jesus is Lord, time to live that. Time to show the world that genuine love exists. Time to be real about our own struggles and surrender our faults and frailties to God so He can change them. Time to stop hiding behind big smiles, pressed suits and pretty dresses. Time to wake up from that slumber sleep. Look around us, lost people are everywhere and even in the church. It’s our job to help. It’s the Great Commission Jesus gave us. Oh let Him find us worthy of the cause and let Him find us all busy for the Kingdom of God.