Keeping It Real

We all experience disappointments, demands, and hardships in life. Unfortunately, there are far fewer who have experienced the freedom, hope, or peace found in Jesus Christ. We all have a story to tell, what keeps you from sharing yours? God has transformed countless lives, but the beginning of the story must be told to appreciate the end. Why do we feel the need to pretend we’re okay when we obviously aren’t? We may be willing listen to someone else, but we have a reluctance to share the details of our own lives.

It’s hard to allow yourself be vulnerable with another person. But presenting a perfect, problem-free life to others only keeps us from being able to relate to one another. Hiding our imperfections, fears, and pain leaves us feeling isolated and alone. It also prevents us from sharing stories of hope and transformation with each other. We can learn from the apostle Paul who showed that it’s okay to be vulnerable with each other. In his letters he freely shared his personal struggles, his persecution, and even his feelings of inadequacy. He used even his most difficult times to point others to Jesus, allowing other believers to see that everyone struggles. 

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Romans 7:15

Christians aren’t perfect. We possess the same selfish, sinful nature that infects all humanity. Choosing to follow Jesus, is a decision to resist those impulses rather than to conform to them. Honestly, some days are better than others. Life is messy; we all make mistakes, we all fail, and we all hurt people we care about.   Christians are not perfect or sinless. Rather, we follow the one who is perfect and sinless. Following his example, we try each day to become more like him. 

God knows how flawed we are, which is why he made a way for us to return. We could never be perfect enough on our own. That’s the beauty, we don’t have to be perfect! Instead, we have to ask for his mercy and accept his grace. God wants our genuine and authentic selves, not who we pretend to be. If we want to live an authentic life we must start by being real with ourselves and real with God.

We can openly acknowledge our faults, knowing it won’t change his love for us. When we are honest with ourselves we can receive the freedom Jesus provides.  Forgiveness frees us from the burden of sin and perfection loses its luster. God can always transform our mess into something beautiful. Its time to stop being perfect and to start being REAL.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.    

1 John 1:8-10

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