One of the main things that I see lacking in today’s Christian church is authenticity. Where is the authenticity in the community of believers?
We live in these bubbles, whether to protect ourselves or in some attempt to not reflect badly on our Savior, I don’t know. But I have discovered that it is rare to truly live in community.
Community. That’s a buzz word these days. Typically I don’t like buzz words. But sometimes they are golden. This one is golden.
I don’t know how many times I have heard Christian pastors, speakers, and authors say things like, “Before I was a Christian, I did x, y, and z. After I became a Christian, though, God changed my life and even though I might sin every now and then, my life is changed.”
Every now and then? Is this for real right now? Am I really the only Christian that consistently and habitually sins multiple times every day? Somehow I don’t think so.
Where are the Christians who are real about their sins?
Where are the Christians who admit their struggles?
Where are the Christians who talk about their doubts and questions?
In honesty, the Christian culture today is not welcoming toward people who might want to be real and authentic. You might get gawked at. People might be so stunned they don’t know how to respond, so they just sit there quietly. Someone might start dousing you with all the right Bible verses in order to fix you.
Where are the Christians who know how to listen?
Where are the Christians who know how to truly rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep?
Where are the Christians who walk alongside people instead of trying to fix them?
Community is about doing life together. You can’t really do life with people that you don’t know anything about. And you can’t do life with people if you are insulating yourself and not opening up to others.
It takes courage. It is not easy opening up to people, not knowing how they will respond. But we must practice authenticity. Being the body of Christ means ministering to other’s needs and also allowing others to minister to your needs.
Hmmm, yes, I agree with this. I think one big area where we need more authenticity is in our marriages. I’ve blogged (and thought lots) about the fact that most of us put a smiling face on our marriages, whether our relationships are great or not… and then when a split happens, our community is completely shocked because they thought everything was fine. When maybe, if we’d been a bit more authentic about our struggles, others could have encouraged us or prayed for us or helped us to find help, and the split wouldn’t have happened. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!