Here is another brilliant thought from Pastor Benny Ho’s sermon yesterday at Faith Community Church:
Authentic people attract. Weird people distract.
And he was talking about the church!
I think we’ve all seen our fair share of weird Christians. I certainly have, especially because in most of my early years growing up in the church, there was such a pervasive performance mentality in the church that it just forced people to pretend they had it all together. It was almost like no one wanted to admit to any shortcomings in case it reflected on their spirituality (or lack thereof).
But the more I became secure in the grace of God, the more open I was to being authentic and transparent. I don’t think I can say that I’m completely transparent yet. But I’m certainly less bothered by people’s shortcomings and sin than I used to be and I’m more open about my own struggles and shortcomings.
I wonder whether, when James said “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (Jas 5:16), he was talking about a transparent and authentic lifestyle amongst believers, rather than some form of liturgical confession done behind a closed booth to a church leader. Maybe if everyone was more open to talking to each other about the sins they struggle with, they might not need to struggle alone. And maybe if the Christian community was more willing to really acknowledge that all of us fall well short of God’s glory apart from Christ that we will be more willing to accept people – especially fellow believers – as they are and be less ready to judge. Perhaps then, we might find healing for our souls.
And then maybe, just maybe, the church will once again be an attractive force for those who are wounded and broken, knowing that there is no safer community on earth than the body of Christ.