CAUTION! Utterly, brutally honest photo ahead!!! I was scrolling through my Facebook memories yesterday (aren’t they just so nice to remind you of things like that?), and I found two really interesting things. The first was the picture below…. Go ahead and laugh, I did. I had attached to it a status that read…
Lest anyone ever think I have it all together, let me assure you, it’s all just hair and make-up! I think it’s high time we started being real with one another, don’t you? Bwahahahaha! — feeling different.
It reminded me of the article I just shared at Glory Books about learning to “be real” with our sisters in Christ. Okay, without further ado, here’s the pic… I’ll wait while you laugh once more.
The reason I shared that photo was because we all put on a fake church mask so often. I was weary of seeing perfect, happy lives portrayed on Facebook like that’s the norm. (let’s not even begin to talk about Pinterest’s perfection-syndrome temptation) Let’s be honest, no one has a perfect life, and I feel like we are missing out on the beautiful life we could live with one another as Christians because we try to present a perfect picture to everyone. (Just so you know, I only look like this about 75% of the time – the other 25% are spent with my hair and make-up “did” as we say in the south)
A “Ghost” From the Past
The other memory that was shared with me was a Facebook “note” from 7 years ago. (Ah, the good ol’ days…) As I read through it, I was shocked at how little things change. Part of my mission to encourage women to be real with one another involves a refusal to avoid the “tough” subjects. We tiptoe around so much in this culture.
However, we must approach these conversations with an intentional focus on the gospel, instead of simply winning an argument. The gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is the unifier in Christian relationships. If we are gospel-minded, we will extend grace to others, rather than fight with them. Christians are ruining their testimonies daily and mocking the name of the Lord by openly fighting and destroying one another. I am the foremost sinner in every situation.
The Facebook Note
Lately, it seems like as Christians, we are fighting battles with other Christians more than any other area of our lives. This is so heart-breaking to God and so thrilling for Satan. A good friend reminded me the other day that Satan doesn’t care what’s going on in “the world” because he’s got them right where he wants them. He cares more about destroying the Church. Not my church or your church or the building we gather in, but the entire body of Christ. That’s where he can REALLY ruin lives and destroy testimonies.
In the past, I have struggled with my name being slandered, my name being attached to gossip I had absolutely no part of, my relationships with others being questioned, my relationship with my husband and family being questioned, and a myriad assortment of other things. All these events tend to happen in the church, where Satan can do his most deceptive, devastating work. Allow me to share the Scripture that God so lovingly showed me today concerning these areas:
Isaiah 50:4b-5 “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.”
O, Lord, help me to be open to your instruction “like one being taught.” Keep me close so my ears are ever open and I do not rebel against your conviction and the movement of the Holy Spirit in my life!
Isaiah 50:8 “He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!”
Father, thank you for showing me that, when accused while innocent, it is Satan, not humans, who “bring charges against me” or accuse me!
Lest anyone think I am currently facing these issues and become concerned, let me assure you, I am not. I’m not sure why my quiet time took me here today. Perhaps God is preparing my heart for future struggles or perhaps I still need healing from some in the past. But these words spoke to me so strongly, I had to share them with all my friends.
Be encouraged, fellow believers! God is with us and will always come to our defense. Let us not settle for the mediocrity that Satan would so desire to work in our lives. Let us give God our best! I refuse to be complacent in the work of Christ and I refuse to allow Satan to have a stronghold over my mind and my speech. I hope God’s word encourages you as much as it did me today!