Let's Be Real
Many people before me have written about and talked about the concept of being authentic, being transparent, being real. But lately, it has been on my heart, and I want to share some of my own thoughts about the topic.
It seems to me that it is very rare for Christians in our culture to be real with each other (let alone the world!). This is sad! All too often, we put on our nice clothes, sing our pretty songs, smile at each other, greet one another with pleasantries -- and all the while, things are not right in our lives. But it's more than just that. Here's what I want to deal with in this post: We are not honest with each other about our relationships to each other.
I want to be very careful in what I write here because I don't want to appear to be pointing fingers at anyone in particular in my life, but I will relate a couple situations without giving too many specifics, so that you get a picture of what I mean.
A church leader who once was very critical (and judgmental) of my approach to ministry has never come to talk to me further about it (despite many invitations on my part), but when he sees me in public, he makes a big show of hugging me and acting like we're best friends. Apart from public, though, my phone calls have gone unanswered, and repeated attempts to get together have been brushed off. That's not being real.
A friend who was very involved in our life began to allow some things into their life that pulled them down spiritually. When we lovingly encouraged them to consider what was going on in their life, they just vanished. Again, phone messages were never returned, emails were never answered. Months later, they suddenly resurfaced to ask us to do a favor for them. We gladly did the favor, and then tried to get them to open up as to why they had disappeared for so long after such seemingly close fellowship. Their response? Well, once again they stopped talking to us and returning our calls. That's not being real.
These situations and others have made me wonder what the relationship should be between Christians. My take is that if we call ourselves brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are claiming to be "one" in the Spirit, then we need to be honest with each other. That means that if we have an issue with someone else in the Body, we need to be honest with them about it. Just pretending that nothing ever happened, or just dropping out of people's lives with no good explanation seems to me to be a sign of not being one with each other. That can't possibly be what Christ wanted His Body to be, nor what He prayed for in John 17.
Yes, people move to other places, and yes life has a way of causing some relationships to become less intense over time. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about people in the same church, or the same town, or the same group of friends who just can't be honest enough to talk about what's really going on in their relationship. Something is very wrong with that picture.
Until next time,