One of the things I find frustrating as a Christian, is also one of the reasons I think people sometimes fall away from their Christian walk, and why some may even turn away from approaching Christianity as something they desire.
I have said before that I would not give up what I’ve gained since accepting Christ for anything…not for promises of great happiness, or wealth, or health or anything. Even in the midst of great trials I’ve gone through, and great times of waiting for God’s timing when my timing was saying that he was running very late, I cannot turn away from my faith in Him who I know can always and in everything be trusted with my life.
Yet, I am so very human. I have an intense desire in my life to be able to ‘keep it real’, as I often say…to be free to be who I am and not hide what I’m thinking, or what I’m feeling at some moment. I am open about it. Why not? God knows the truth, no matter how hard I’m trying to cover it up. Besides, I’ve lived that other way before, and it’s highly unpleasant.
The trouble is that when I am open at times about being angry, being stressed, feeling down, some of my Christian brothers and sisters read that to mean that I am not trusting well enough…that I am not being led by the Spirit of God. Sometimes they express concern for me with things like, “Are you okay? Are you sure?” 🙂 I do know that the hearts are very well meaning in these things, so I do not mean any unkindness with these words, by the way. And sadly, I know that these people hold themselves to those same ideas and standards many times.
I am not saying that sometimes they’re not correct in assuming that I’m getting off the beaten path a little, or that there is not a time to gently let a brother or sister know that they are going the road alone and to look up in the midst of whatever they’re feeling. And I am certainly not saying there are not times to recognize when someone is really going through something difficult and needs your comfort and concern. But I think we must be careful to recognize when a person is expressing their emotions or feelings, or their struggles…but still looking up and fully trusting God…still okay, and when that person is trusting in, or living by the emotions or feelings or struggles rather than trusting in God, or is really struggling with something. But we must not look at others and expect them to be perfect, and we must certainly not expect ourselves to be either.
Can we just keep it real, then? Can we not be afraid to express what we’re feeling inside for fear that someone will chastise us for it, or read into it something that is not there?
I have to laugh here, because in writing this I realize that some will think when they read my words that I am overly obsessed with this or highly upset about it. I’m not, but it is something I have noticed through the years many times, and in many ways. Bottom line…I trust God. The best thing that ever happened in my life was when I accepted Jesus Christ and decided to make him Lord of my life. It was not a point at which I fell into a state of bondage. It was the point at which I found freedom. So then, I will seek to live as one who is free…not as one who is bound up tightly by some need to look or behave some particular way. But I pray that I will indeed live by the Spirit, and not by my own selfish ways. Where I am not, may God direct me back in the right direction…because that is where the freedom lies.
Love and blessings,
King James Version (KJV)
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Scripture passage from BibleGateway.com