Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Being Real with Your Church Family

on July 18, 2014

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photo credit: InspirationDC via photopin cc

“How are you today?”

“Fine, thanks. You?”

“Fine. Thank you. Alright, have a good day.”

“You too. God bless.”

“God bless.”

……..next person walks up.

“How are you?”

 

Hmmmm……in a world full of suffering, pain, loss, temptation, sin, struggle, abandonment, divorce, rebellion, war, financial turmoil and sickness, it’s amazing that so many people in the church today are “fine, thanks.” Really? Are you really? Maybe you are! Maybe things are great with you this Sunday and next, but someday, something is going to rock you. I hope on that day you are willing to be something deeper than just “fine” with your church family, friends and mentors.

We are missing out on a big part of the blessing of having a church family in the first place. Listen, folks, we were never meant to walk this life alone. If you study the New Testament church, you’ll see how close and real the people were. They confessed sins to one another, confronted one another, wept with one another and helped one another in times of need. Get the picture? ONE ANOTHER! You’re here for me and I’m here for you, and in that way of living we are both blessed.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

I want to fulfill the law of Christ. This is not the law of the OT, by the way. The law of Christ was for His people to love God with all their heart and love one another as themselves. To fulfill this great law of Christ, what must I do? What must you do? What must WE do? Bear one another’s burdens. Okay! I’m ready! Ready to do this and be blessed in fulfilling the law of Christ!

Only….how can you bear one another’s burdens if they don’t share their burdens? How can you help them with their heavy load if they refuse to let you? How can you minister if they are always just “fine”? The house is falling apart, the marriage is breaking up, there’s no money for food…but they are “fine”? Maybe it’s not so dramatic. Maybe a sister is just a tired mama in need of some time off and a willing babysitter? Maybe a brother is in need of some encouragement because his job isn’t going the right way? Maybe a family needs some help with a move or could use meals for a while as they battle illness?

We aren’t always fine. We are ALWAYS blessed because of Jesus, but this life is tough. No matter how perfect a person’s life may seem on the surface, times of trouble will come. We need to be willing to both bear one another’s burdens and also willing to let others bear ours. That’s the way it works!

I see three big issues that keep us from being real with our church family when it comes to sharing about real life struggles and pain:

1. Pride. Pride lies to us and tells us we shouldn’t let anyone know we are struggling. We want them to think we have it all together. We want them to admire our lives and fear judgement. We are too proud to ask for help.

2. Lack of Relationships. It’s hard to open up about our struggles when we don’t really know someone. We all need a few people in our lives that we feel comfortable sharing with and being accountable to, so build those relationships. Also, make sure no one in the body is left out of having a relationship like this. Pray about who might need your friendship. Don’t just choose those with whom you have a lot in common.

3. False Perfect Atmosphere. Some churches present an atmosphere in which people think their lives should be perfect, and if they aren’t perfect, then they must be doing something wrong or in sin. There are churches that spread the lie that struggle means you are in sin and that every Christian should live a life of luxury, perfect health and other earthly blessings. As we study the Word we see that’s just not true at all. Suffering on earth is part of our inheritance of the cross. We aren’t promised worldly pleasures or even health here. This is the world of fallen man, sin and disease. We are promised treasures in heaven and an eternity with God, which helps us get through the present trials. If your church makes you feel bad for having struggles, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! Find another church that actually teaches the Bible and has compassion.

It’s time to get real with people. You don’t have to share your sad stories with every person you talk to on Sunday morning, but you should definitely be able to share more than just “fine” with each person. If you’re not “fine”, tell someone! Reach out! Get help! That’s what the church family is there for. Let go of pride and anxiety and just be real. You will be blessed and that person will also be blessed that they get to fulfill the law of Christ by helping to bear your burdens. Don’t defraud them of that!

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