I think that the church has a stigma within itself that we try to maintain. It’s not biblical, and its certainly not a great thing. It’s this idea that we have to have everything in our life together when we’re around each other on Sundays and Wednesdays. That we some how must maintain this “masquerade” of perfect Christian maturity. I will be the first to tell you this about me: I don’t have it all together, and sometimes my life is a mess!
That’s OK! That’s the beauty of the church! We aren’t called to be a perfect people…if that were possible than Christ wouldn’t have needed to come to suffer and die to redeem us from our imperfections and shortcomings. Sometimes I think we do greater damage to ourselves by trying to maintain this “stained-glass masquerade,” as it has been called, than to just owning up to a reality check that everything is not as it seems. We are not OK.
When we can openly admit to one another that we are hurting, that we’ve messed up, and that we need the love and encouragement of the saints, THAT is when our lives are ripe for change to occur. From James, we read this: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. ” (James 5:16, NIV). I don’t read this in this Scripture anywhere, from any angle of this “Lone Ranger” Christianity that many of us try to keep. “It’s between me and God,” people will say, and yes that is true, but it’s also worth sharing with others. James says it brings healing!
If your congregation (or any, for that matter) is so judgmental that we can’t even come forward to admit our sins or our needs, than church, that is not the church Jesus Christ died for. The church is not, nor was it ever, nor will it ever be in the judging business. That’s God job. We are here to walk the road to heaven together, picking one another up when we fall—not walking on top of them. We get walked on every day in the world—don’t bring it into the church.
Are you hurting? Are you broken? Discouraged? Weary? Burnt out? Well, join up with the rest of us bedraggled and beaten down children of God and share in the Lord together with one another. Confess and share. Just think about it.
In love, Scott