Oct
26

What the World Needs Now

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DSC02017"We are called to reach people who need to see some humanity.” This comment by a friend of mine resonated with my heart.  Let me explain.

Somehow the church of the living God has adapted a mindset that encourages hypocrisy in our members.  We have become a culture of people who are unwilling to be real. We are afraid to take off our religious masks. We have the sneaky suspicion that to do so would mean being judged by our church and our “friends”. 

Two very real truths co-exist. 1. We are to pursue holiness. 2. We will never achieve righteous perfection in this life.  We find ourselves as believers in this divine tension. Desiring pureness, holiness, and righteousness, yet never being able to “achieve” perfection.  And so more often than not, we live behind facades; we put on masks; we pretend. 
 
How far have we fallen from God’s heart!  God knew we could never be perfect which is the point of the Cross.
 
When we live in pretense, we make ourselves unapproachable to those who most need the message of Christ. We also make ourselves undesirable to a lost world because although we might think we are fooling them into believing we’ve got it all together, we are not!  They take one look at the “Church” and know it’s full of imperfect people which would not be a problem if we as the Church acknowledged our imperfection and pointed others to Christ, our living hope.
 
Certainly we know in our own hearts that we miss the mark, yet we work really hard to hide it from everyone else. 
 
We, as the Church, must somehow learn to hold up Christ as the perfect One and fall on our faces at the common ground of the cross where we all find ourselves in desperate need of the power of Christ to transform us.
 
The very first message that Jesus shared when he stood up in the synagogue was, “I’ve come to save the broken, those who are bound up, those whose are blind.”  Yet somehow our churches have often adopted a message that says, “We’re here for you when you get it all together.”  And equally sad we have in effect said, “We might accept imperfect people until they experience salvation, but after that, you must live perfectly to be a part of us.”
 
We live in fear. Fear of others knowing us.  We don’t want anyone to know how imperfect we are, and yet God is calling us to be REAL. Being real does not mean that we make excuses for our sin. It means we humbly relate to each other, supporting, praying, encouraging, bringing our struggles into the light with those we trust. 
 
That’s the initial problem for most of us. “Those we trust.” The list is too short, if not non-existent.  Most of us have been hurt, betrayed, by those whom we trusted. Yet God is calling us to try again. I am not encouraging anyone to unwisely share your struggles with the wrong people, but I am encouraging all of us to pursue the development of real relationships where we can be real and find support.
 
I’ve been working on my Master’s in Professional Counseling degree, and I’ve been working  with a group of people in a 12-Step program. Time after time, I’ve felt like weeping as I’ve heard many proclaim, “I can come into this group and not feel judged.”  I’ve watched many of them find God for the first time or go deeper in their relationship with Him as they worked on their issues in truth. 
 
I feel so deeply saddened that, in general, the Church has not been able or willing to offer such a place to those who are struggling. A place to share without fear of judgment. A place to ask for help. A place to admit bad days and bad moments and bad seasons. Failures. Yet a place that shares encouragement and points people to God.
 
And don’t throw stones at me for suggesting that someone can find God in a 12-Step program. That’s not the point of this blog. The point is, PEOPLE NEED TO SEE OUR HUMANITY so that they can believe that our message is for them because they know the limitations of their own humanity.
 
Jesus came as God in human flesh. He lived a perfect, sinless life. His love for others was so pure that they came to him in their sinfulness. His love drove away their fear. He was approachable. He was desirable. 
 
Although we will never be perfect in this life, we can, we should be, and we MUST be approachable. Enough with our facades and our masks!  We, as the Church, are a bunch of sinners who have found a loving God who is changing us.  What a message! 
 
If we feign perfection to the world, they don’t believe it and they are not interested in something fake. They can find that anywhere. They need us, in our humanity, to be kind, approachable, humble, and know what it means to live out our humanity with the heart of Christ beating within us.
 
That’s what the world needs now. Real people serving a real God with a real purpose and offering real hope to a real world. 

 

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Categories : Authenticity

Comments

  1. kathy norman says:

    This is truth! It is so true – feigned perfection is not only exhausting, it’s simply not real! It’s the flaws in the diamond that gives it authenticity and confirms value! Flawless=Fake ! I wrote a piece on that awhile back….You inspire me with your writing and as always, I look forward to hearing from God through your voice and unique perspective. This piece is Right On! Write On!

  2. Cathleen says:

    “Although we will never be perfect in this life, we can, we should be, and we MUST be approachable.” This is such a true statement, Mikki. Thank you!
    I have seen several Christian “leaders” set themselves up with a layer of people surrounding them that one must contact and ask to speak to the leader. Somehow I could never imagine Paul or Peter doing that.

  3. I often find it so hard to be vulnerable because the message to me through the church has been to “be in control”. “Have it all together Kimberly”. I love that the Lord is awakening our hearts to be real, be vulnerable and it’s ok. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Love you

  4. Mikki says:

    Love you all and thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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