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Real Talk

You ever had a really bad day...but lied about it? Go with me here. You wind up somewhere outside of your bubble, whether it be church, a friend’s house, or a group. Within moments of opening the door, someone invariably asks, “How are you?” You drudge up a typical response: "I'm fine," “I’m good,” or my favorite, “Blessed and highly favored!” I'm not saying those things are bad, but are they an honest depiction of how we feel?

There’s no example in Scripture of Jesus calling someone to the carpet for lying about how they were. He never says, “Come on, tell the truth! You have a hole in your only pair of sandals, and your son spilled the last of your olive oil.” Today, it would sound something like, “You got a flat tire, and so-and-so blew you off on Facebook,” or something like that!

The point I’m trying to make is why lie? When did it become taboo to have a bad day? I’m fortunate enough to have people in my life that I can be honest with, but so often people pretend! Guess what…We don’t have to have it all together! We can have bad days, and we can even be in a bad mood! 

Jesus promises, “In this life, you will have tribulation," and Peter instructs us that Christ suffered as an example, so we might follow in His Steps. Paul in Ephesians warns that we fight against cosmic powers, authorities, and against rulers not of this world.

Yet also, within those same scriptures, Jesus says, “I have overcome the world,” reminding us that despite the mammoth size of our shortcomings or bad days, our Savior is bigger! I’m not taking away from that one iota. All I’m asking is this: why pretend to have it all together when we don’t? What good does that masquerade do? When we isolate ourselves with our white lies and insecurities, we choose the world's false sense of relationship over God's authentic (however messy) community. One path may look good on Facebook, but it cuts us off from the transparency that brings about restoration and builds life.

When someone asks, “How are you?” Answer truthfully! “You know, today, I’m kind of meh.” Or, “I’m struggling!” You’d be surprised the people willing to meet you where you are in that moment and encourage you! Better yet, hearing the words, “Want to talk about it?” will be a balm to your soul! 

And Family, when we see a brother or sister suffering, rather than avert our eyes and gently tiptoe away, we put our task list on hold to love them through the trial. We don't merely say, "I'll be praying for you." We STOP and pray with them right then. We choose His Community over personal comfort or mundane checklists.

People care! I know in today’s world, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle—to think people don’t care or don’t have time to be there for a friend, but they do! The holidays can be a very lonely time. Please (please, please!) reach out! Be transparent about your feelings, no matter what that may be. Allow someone to be there for you, to encourage you, to simply listen to and maybe even cry with you! That’s what community means!

Whether you’re a Christian or not, love is one of the easiest emotions to spread around because it’s inherent in human behavior. (It's the image of God in us.) You disagree? Could you walk away from a passenger trapped in a car wreck you’ve just witnessed without helping? Or leave an injured animal without offering even the smallest amount of aid? If you found a lost child, would you walk away from their cries for help? See what I mean! Show love and kindness; you may inadvertently save a life, especially around the holidays!

Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. 1 John 3:18

John 16:33    1 Peter 2:21    Ephesians 6:12

1 comment (Add your own)

1. amy bowles wrote:
Our discussion group just spent some time working through this concept. It's so challenging for us to let down our guard. We allow our fear of a plethora of outcomes (rejection, misunderstanding, calloused responses, betrayal, insensitivity, etc.) to dictate whether or not we reveal our true sentiments and "let people in" to our world. We justify it however we want, but I don't sense it's the community God had planned for His Bride. We don't always have to spend hours working through our problem with the nice guy named Rick who opened the door, but when someone asks how you are doing, it's okay to respond, "God's giving me a pretty tough workout this week," or, "I would appreciate your prayer--I'm rather weak in the moment," or, "While my life is in His Hands, sometimes my heart hurts something fierce." There are days when it feels like the world has severed an artery. Don't slap the "I'm Fine" bandaid on it and try to keep your mask up until the day is done (or worse, just not show up because the mask is too heavy to hold). Let Him heal you, and most often that's done by loving God and loving people, which isn't a one-way means you let both Him and people love you back. Thanks for sharing this, Tiffany!

Sun, December 10, 2017 @ 5:13 PM

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