Is it just me,

or do you find it easy to give a quick, “it’s all good,” or, “I’m fine,” when someone asks how you’re doing?

Why is that? Why is it so hard to be real and authentic, especially with other Christians who know what it’s like to be a sinner and yet still be forgiven? Why are we so afraid of being vulnerable? All these questions came to mind as I drove to the church the other morning and the song “Truth be Told” by Matthew West came on the radio.

The transparency and authenticity of Paul proves to be a great example of what the Christian life should look like. Paul let’s go of his pride and authentically tells the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 2:3, “And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.

We are not called to have it all together. Instead, our lives should model humility, not pride.

In his book, The Freedom of Self-ForgetfulnessTim Keller writes, “Spiritual pride is the illusion that we are competent to run our own lives, achieve our own sense of self-worth, and find a purpose big enough to give us meaning in life without God.” Paul addresses this head-on:

“It is of little importance to me that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even judge myself…It is the Lord who judges me…who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God…the purpose is that none of you will be arrogant, favoring one person over another.” 1 Cor. 4:3-6

Why is it so normal for us to try to prove to ourselves, others, and God, that we are somebody? Yet, if left unchecked and unsurrendered to Christ, this continually leaves us emotionally bankrupt.
The purpose of our lives is that, as Christ transforms us, people will not be drawn to us, but that they will be drawn to Christ through the gospel.
Instead, as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything: by great endurance, by afflictions, by hardships, by difficulties, by beatings, by imprisonments, by riots, by labors, by sleepless nights, by times of hunger, by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love.” 2 Cor. 6:4-6

Sincerity is central to the hope we find in Christ. It is our ability to live honest lives without hypocrisy. But because we act as if we have it all together, we oftentimes rob Christ of His glory because others see a false finished product instead of the amazing transformative work that God is doing in our lives right now.

The apostle Paul summarizes the Biblically authentic life we all need to model in Philippians 3:12-14:

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

 As the song “Truth Be Told” alludes to, if we all lived authentically, the world would see the church as a refuge for the broken and the hurting, a safe place to hear the healing power of the gospel with no judgment.
So, let’s live authentically, where our lives go beyond the masquerade. Let’s open up our lives and be vulnerable so that others can see what we have been through so we can help one another through the tough times and the struggles, and show people how Christ has shown up in our lives even when we didn’t even come close to deserving it.

I am so thankful for you,
Jason Vann

Hospitality & Family Ministries Director