I'm not sure if my heart has grown more hard towards things that are Christian or that I've grown more aware of dishonest Christianity. I think it's a mix of both. I'll admit before I keep writing that I'm not in the greatest place with God right now, but I also think this is a season that I'm getting out of and needed to be in.
For a long time it's been really hard for me to see dishonest Christianity, which is an oxymoron. What I mean by dishonest Christianity is people act like they have it all together or when they act like they are immune to doubt. I'm not saying that I see this a lot, but when I do, it's so hard for my faith for some reason. It's my Kryptonite. But on the other hand, when people are truly in love with God and honest about it, I love that. I'm so drawn to that, I could talk to them for hours. But when I can tell they are just saying things they were taught to say or responding the way they've practiced for years, it's just so hard for me to hear.
We are so broken that when I see people pretending that they aren't or have never been broken, I know they either are too young to have been really broken or are lying to me and themselves. And look, I know I'm pretty open with my struggles and brokeness and that it's hard for other people to share that, I get that. You might not have to mention it, but just don't pretend it's not there.
I should mention that I'm talking to the leaders, the stronger people that know better. Some people need to be led into this honesty and vulnerability. Because a lot of people believe that they are the only ones that are screwed up. I think when we start really being honest is when we really start hearing people say "me too" and there is so much healing in hearing that.
In fact, I've gained so many great friends and deep relationships from honesty, I've also been healed of so much from just sharing it and been so free from admitting my flaws and brokenness. Basically, there has been so many benefits that I think it's hard for me when I see people missing out on them.
Sure it's scary and there's risk. But it's like asking a girl out, the reward outweighs the risk immensely.
I've just met way too many people all over the world that I've gotten pretty close with and have seen how broken we all are that it's hard for me to see people pretend like that doesn't apply to them.
I get more encouragement from a Christian that is honestly telling me about their struggles and doubts than a dishonest Christian pretending they have it all together. And to be honest, I'd rather talk to an Atheist that is honest about his doubts and beliefs than a Christian that is "saying all the right things" because it's nice to know that I'm not the only one that doesn't have it all figured out.
I once saw a movie called "Precious" it's a pretty heavy and dark film. But I think God spoke to me through that movie than a lot of other ones that I've seen. To me it was a Bible story. It was hard to watch at times but it was honest. God was speaking to me through that, I saw for a moment what God sees and felt a deep love for this broken world, I wanted to hug that girl and show her love. Or "The Elephant Man" when he says "My life is full because I know that I am loved". Seeing people lack something that I've received so abundantly makes me realize how loved I am and how much I should love others. When I see people appearing like they're perfect, I feel like I fall short of God's love and need to work harder. But it's through seeing brokenness through God's eyes and seeing how much He loves this broken world is when I feel so at home in His love.
It felt like the brokenness that I've read in the Bible over and over, the times Lot slept with his daughters, Noah getting trashed, Moses killing someone with his bare hands, David covering up an affair with murder, lying and getting Uriah drunk and so many other honest, filthy, heavy stories of broken people in need of a savior. That's something I can relate to. I can't relate to the people that have it all together and to be honest, I don't think anyone can. When I read about John the Baptist (one of my heros) asking Jesus "are you the Messiah or should we keep looking for someone else?" (Luke 7:20). I don't read it in passing, but I read that as a plea, a scary question that he probably debated asking in his prison cell for days before he finally asked it because he was afraid of the answer, I still have questions that I'm afraid to ask because I'm afraid of the answer or when Peter realized that he betrayed Jesus and "wept bitterly"(Matthew 26:75) that's something I can relate to! How many times have I realized my sin and it's made me wept bitterly. I get it Peter, I can relate to you because you're a human. I can also relate to when Peter, after denying Jesus a few days before, jumping out of the boat and swimming towards Jesus to greet Him because I have betrayed Jesus and ran towards him as fast as I could after "weeping bitterly" knowing He'd be there to embrace me. I can relate to Job when he "hopes in God but still will argue his ways to His face" (Job 13:15). I've totally cussed God out, yelled at Him, forgot my place only to have God say "where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" (Job 38:4) I can relate to that. I can relate to Jesus weeping his friends death (John 11:35), David and Jesus asking God "Why have you forsaken me" (Psalm 22, Matthew 27:46), David asking "why have you hid your face from me" (Psalm 88:11 and the whole chapter), dancing like an idiot before God (2 Samuel 6:14), deep confession from brokenness (Psalm 51), Jesus begging God for a different way (Luke 22:42), Paul talking about when he does things he wishes that he didn't do (Romans 7:15...), a father asking Jesus to help him with his unbelief (Mark 9:24), Sarah laughing at God's ability (Genesis 18:12). There are so many other stories that I can relate to so well in the Bible, but why is it hard to relate to Christians in real life opposed to the Christians of the Bible? Because we don't want to admit our doubts, brokenness, failures, flaws, irreverence and we can't even dance in front of each other without feeling awkward let alone let people know how we dance before God. I see so many people in the Bible pleading to God for things, begging Him and when I forget that the Bible is filled with that, I start to feel isolated because I feel like I'm the only one some nights when I'm crying out to God for mercy or peace or understanding or belief.
And maybe that's why I believe that God inspired the Bible, because I've hung out with Christians long enough to know that most Christians don't mention when they don't believe or can't find God (Psalm 42). In fact, come to think of it. I believe that it's when we are honest with each other about our struggles and doubts, God is the one inspiring that, because who in their right mind would do that without God's power? Like C.S. Lewis said, "I've never heard a non-Christian admit to being prideful".
I've said this once before, but I think it applies:
"If Christ lives in us, then people will see Him through our transparencies".
God, get your glory.