For the last few years of my life, I have found myself increasingly frustrated with both myself and Christians in general. I’ve attempted to sit down and write out my thoughts in the form of a new manuscript, but nothing seems to be coming to completion. At best I am a complete paradox, to say the least. I’m packed with joy and various sorrows, I’m happy and angry at the same time, I want to laugh and scream all in the same breath.
I have never been that steady Christian that always seems to be happy and with no real pressing issues or things that bother them. If such a Christian even exists. I’m frustrated with myself that I have such a hard time forgiving others. Rather, I keep a record of wrongs and hold onto grudges. I’ve never been that Christian or person who can only forgive and forget. Though, other believers would suggest that I need to move on as though nothing happened.
I long to follow Christ with all that I am, yet I still become increasingly entangled in my sin. The everyday Protestant Christian would say “well you’re are not fighting back against your sin hard enough.” And there right, but my sin still feels good. Atheists can call me a hypocrite all they want, but they have struggles and flaws too, I’m just not afraid to admit my own. Nor are they under as big of a microscope as Christians are.
Go ahead and call me a freak for believing in God, go ahead and make fun of me for believing in something that I have yet to see with my own eyes. In the end, I’d rather be wrong about the existence of God then only living for myself and my own passions.
But I regress… The fact is, I know that myself and the body of Christ as a whole are hypocrites. I believe that should be all the more the reason to place our faith in the Lord Jesus. For he came to call upon people who were sick and knew it deep down inside their souls. Not for those who believed that they were without flaw or blemish.
The church, though it is full of broken, sick and twisted people. Is capable of bringing about the most change in this world. Not only are we be able to bring a healthy balance of
social justice in the world, but also we would be doing so with the love, truth and mercy of God. Which is what this world so desperately needs. While this all sounds well a good, this generation of believers must come outside the four walls of our church buildings and engage the society around us.
We must put down our cell phones and notice the lonely and hurting people around us. Furthermore, we must develop a good sense of people skills. At least in the Christian community that I am currently, people skills seem to be few, far and between. Everyone appears to be so caught up in their worlds. Myself included.
In my estimation, this should not be the reality of the church. At the heart of the matter, the church can and should be a reflection of Christ. But again, in my estimation we are not, in fact, we are far from it. Or maybe it’s only me that is far from the mark. Regardless, I long for revival to happen among Christians and even our country. The fact of the matter is that there is no secret formulate to obtain such results is to (as Christians) is to seek God actively in faith and repentance.
Then, we must actively seek one another in a community and learn the art of vulnerability. Far too often it appears as though we Christians smile and act as though everything seemingly perfect and in it’s right place. But I think that for many of us (Christian and not) that life is extremely messy, even if someone of us are not good or willing to admit it.
When it comes to great examples of what vulnerability in the church should look like, the example that I go to is recovery movements. A place of utter honesty and transparency, a place where people let down their facades and find community and the possibility of healing. I’m in no way saying that recovery movements are perfect, for nothing in this world is. But they are a starting block that Christians and all people can glean from.
Vulnerability is something that I strongly feel (is still) lacking from the Christian life. I know that people don’t enjoy being open with others, but it is how we experience both growth and healing. With God and others. The truth is, (I believe) is that we are scared, to be honest about our pain and what plagues us. I am always going back to the story of Adam and Eve, the fact that when they sinned, instead of running to God and seeking forgiveness they covered up.
The funny thing is we do the same, rather then being open and honest with one another. We hide. And for different reasons, one reason might be that we feel we have to have it all together and can’t show who we really are and where we are at in life. Another reason might be that we are afraid that if people see who we really are they might run away. Let me submit to you that, if people ran away after seeing who you really are then they never really loved you in the first place.
Regardless of what our reason is, we must learn to rake the mask of that we some comfortable wear and stand bare before others.