Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fake is not Faith

"'Dear Lord, I pray that all limitations, weaknesses, defects, pain, hurt, mistakes, embarrassment and imperfection in my personal and public life, relationships and cirumstances be elminated.' A little exaggerated? Maybe, but not much. The results of this petition? Ongoing disappointment that I believed I had to hide in order to appear godly." Joan Webb from The Relief of Imperfection

Do you know any "church people?" If you go to church you may look around and think all those people in the seats around you are holy, spiritual and wise. They never use bad language, over-indulge at a party get really mad at their spouse, yell at their kids, complain about their jobs or watch junk on TV. Sigh. They're so amazingly picture-perfect!

Take a closer look. Each and every person sitting in those seats is human and has as many temptations, weaknesses and personality flaws as you.

If you go to church with this illusion, take the blinders off. If you go to church and try to create this illusion about yourself, take the mask off. If you're looking for a church, find one where people are honest and hypocrisy is left outside the front door. The only way we can truly know each other is to be who we really are and let it show.

There is no room for "perfect people" in my church or my life. That's because they don't exist this side of Heaven. Perfection on earth is a lie.

Following is an excerpt from a short article in Chrio Communities Newsletter about an awakening from perfection:

...I've gone almost my whole life feeling like a failure of a Christian. I always understood my spiritual success to be measured by an unspoken set of rules, and if I did ABCD, I'd be considered a good Christian.

I knew everything about how to appear Godly- how to act, how to worship, pray, respond with "God" answers, etc. I wanted to fit in with the Christian community, but somehow never felt good enough. Eventually this false me took over completely and I lived in it fully, deceiving even myself at times.

In this existence, I always experienced a significant amount of spiritual envy. I looked at the people around me, wondering what the secret was, how they could be experiencing God so intimately. And I lived with fear. Fear that people might see right through me.

And now...I'm done. The fa├žade of "everything being great, I've got it together, I'm a really spiritual person," etc. is exhausting. For the first time in my life, I believe I'm experiencing freedom in Christ; freedom from guilt and freedom in who I am. ...My time with God might be a little unconventional, I might go through phases where I feel like an inconsistent mess, and I WILL make mistakes- but it's okay. I'm okay. *
Click here to read this entire piece from Holly's blog (also included in Chrio Community Church Newsletter).

At church (and every place) we need to be real and seek authenticity in others. If people are putting you on a pedestal, you only have one way to go: down. If you are admiring or idolizing some "spiritual giant" you will surely be disappointed.

As we open our lives up and let God's light shine on it for others to see, they will be more inclined to reciprocate. Mistakes and failings make us "experts" in helping others avoid the same pitfalls. That is the measure of real faith and the beginning of spiritual freedom. Comment on your experience with fakers and posers.

Diane Markins

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1 comment:

Jonathan Foster said...

very good diane. authenticity. it's desperately needed... in our churches and society. thanks.