I was recently turned on to this video by Aqualung by reading an article by Guy Chmieleski about student leaders dropping out of youth/campus ministries, and it got me to thinking.
Sometimes, in the church, we lie to each other.
Actually, in my ministry, I’ve found that it happens quite often.
Because we mask the feelings we’re experiencing, and hiding behind the masks of “everything’s alright, I’m o.k.,” we lie and tell each other that nothing’s wrong, nothing to see here, move along to someone who really needs your help…
I’ve felt this when I have a young person who drops off the face of the earth, only to find out later that he/she is in trouble, and nobody (not even concerned parents) told me anything about it.
I’ve felt it when a leader of the church says that “some people” are really concerned about something, when they really mean that they are concerned.
I’ve done it myself, when I’ve been angry or disappointed or scared, and someone asks me how I’m doing. “Pretty good,” I answer, even though I’m torn up inside.
Why do we Christians do that? Why don’t we even feel comfortable sharing our pains and sorrows with each other?
What can we do about it?
Probably, the place to start is by being honest with ourselves, admitting that we do have problems and stresses in life, that we’re not perfect, and that we do need a community of brothers and sisters around us who will support us, even as we support them.
Then, maybe we need to be honest with God (he already knows what’s going on, anyway), and pray about it.
If we can do that, maybe, just maybe, we might feel able to tell each other about it.
And I don’t ever want to hear anyone say, “I know you’re really busy, and I don’t want to bother you…”
Or, “I’m afraid you might think I’m a failure, but…”
Or, “I didn’t think I could approach you with something like this…”
Believe me, I’ve said those things before myself. But not anymore. As believers in Christ, we need to believe that he has the power to heal and restore us to total freedom from all our pains, sicknesses and addictions, and that he can restore community when it breaks down.
But he can’t do it on his own. We need to make the first step–with ourselves, with God, and with each other.
Just do it.