We all do it. We all pretend like everything is “fine” when we’re really struggling inside.
It happens at work. It happens at school. It happens so many times on social media. We post the good pictures of our lives, showing off the victories and the good times, not willing to admit how there were 10 other challenging and more difficult moments between the positive posts we just made.
The major problem is this: It happens a lot in the church.
How many times have you walked into church, beaming with a fake smile to mask everything that’s happening behind the scenes? How many times have you said the words, “I’m doing fine” when things definitely weren’t fine?
Honestly, this needs to stop. I get it. The church has a reputation of being a place where you find more judgment than forgiveness. Where people look down on you for struggling with sin, especially if it is exposed. But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be, and my hope and prayer is that it changes sooner rather than later.
Church is meant to be a place for sinners. Not to find condemnation and shame, but restoration, encouragement, and love. We must remember the truth about who we are. That we are all sinners. Every single one of us have broken God’s law and deserve to be punished by a perfect and holy God for it. In God’s eyes, there is no difference between one sin or another. We are all on equal footing, all needing an equal measure of grace.
Church is a place for the broken to gather. Church is a place where we should be able to be ourselves and where we’re at in the moment: our real, authentic selves. If we want to be spreading, true, honest, real, authentic Christianity, it begins with us being true, honest, real, and authentic about what we’re dealing with.
Galatians 6:1-3 says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.”
Translation: Help each other through the difficult times of life. When someone is caught in sin, the last thing we should do is look down on them, because without Jesus, we are just as sinful, stained, and defiled as they are. We have all sinned, we have all fallen short, and we all need grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Is our role to condemn sinners or restore them by pointing them to Jesus? And if Jesus was standing next to us as they admitted their sin, how would He respond?
It’s time for us to take back the church with authenticity. It’s time for us to be who God destined us to be: people saved by His grace, so we can point others to the same grace that has been lavished poured out on us!