I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic. It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together. We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week's theme topic is LET'S GET REAL.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. - Ephesians 2: 8-9
I started a new book recently because of a recommendation on one of Franki Sibberson's blog posts (I don't pass up much of what Franki recommends). I'm not very far into it, so my real review and take on it will come later, but I was struck by the premise of it right away. I got teary-eyed in the first chapter!
Now, I don't know all of Glennon's spiritual and religious views, so I don't know if I agree with any or all of them, but I do know this. She is a proponent of telling the truth. Of revealing our real selves. Of taking off our superhero capes. Of letting perfectionism go. Of recognizing our shortcomings, craziness, and messiness. In the beginning of the book, Glennon talks about being a mom on the playground with a new church friend. She suspected her new friend was having trouble with her marriage. They surface-talked like all of us do, but Glennon felt frustrated. Finally, she realized she wasn't sitting with her friend at all. There were too many layers of armor. Feeling like this was ridiculous, she blurted out her life story (complete with alcoholism, bulimia, drug use, and accidental pregnancy). She was met with stunned silence and then tears. Their friendship became real, and her friend's marriage was salvaged.
Doesn't this sound refreshing and completely impossible? It's so hard to always talk about what we're going through. We have to be protective of family members and friends, cautious of hurt and pain, and so it's difficult to always be completely real, but telling the truth is so freeing and so healthy. Church would be a much more popular place if we let down some of our pretenses. I don't really know why we have those pretenses in the Christian faith. Jesus certainly wasn't a proponent of perfectionism. He tells us we can only experience His power if we are weak, imperfect, and broken, so why do we Christians always put up those perfect facades?! "We don't need any more superheroes. We just need awkward, oily, honest human beings out in the bright, big, messy world. And I will see you there." - Glennon Doyle Melton
I'm not saying I'm good at telling the truth about this messy thing. And actually, I'm fine more than I'm not because that's how I'm wired. But I'm certainly not perfect. None of us is. And that should be okay. We could help each other, hash it out, lend a listening and nonjudgmental ear, and be kind. Be honest with each other. We actually owe each other that. We can only be real friends and family to each other if we would throw off the superhero cape and really talk to each other. I think we would all be happier in the long run, and we would realize how much we need Jesus.
Check out all of Francesca Battistelli songs if you haven't already done so! She addresses this topic in many of her songs.
The other side of this topic is that in order for people to be truly open, we also need to be forgiving, loving, and nonjudgmental as listeners. This is also very difficult (at least for me). I don't also listen the way I should, so next week's theme topic is HYPOCRISY, and it will be based on Matthew 7:1-5. Join us! We'd love for you to link up your own blog posts.