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What if we were real with each other? What do you think would happen if Christian women everywhere just ditched the church mask and started really sharing what’s really going on in their lives? Do we honestly believe that people buy it when we constantly tell them we’re “good” every single time they ask us how we are? Worse yet, are we all so superficial and shallow that we expect someone to answer us back that way?
Ditch the Mask
To answer my own questions – no. I don’t believe we’re all that shallow. Nor do I think that people actually believe that I’m “good” 100% of the time (even though I most often say I am). No one is. Why can’t we just admit this?
Ladies, I am utterly convinced that we need to learn to change the tide in this area. But I believe ditching the “church mask” begins with ditching our self-involved, self-focused relationship with our Lord. We must start approaching our Lord with a humble attitude of examination of our own hearts, instead of a laundry list of day-to-day requests.
Search Me, Lord
Before we can ditch the mask in front of others, we must be like the Psalmist who said “Search me, O God and know my heart.” (Psalm 139:23) How on earth can we ditch the mask before others and share our real struggles if we’re not being honest with our Lord first? He knows our hearts. He’s the only one who truly knows everything about us. (Jeremiah 1:4)
Examination of our own hearts begins with significant time spent in the Word of God. That’s the mirror the Lord uses to reveal to us the true motives and focus of our hearts. And, oftentimes, the source of our sadness can be traced back to a wrongly placed focus of our hearts.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Why Are You In Despair?
Once we have gotten before our Lord and been real with Him about things – after all, Hebrews tells us He already knows anyway – then we can begin to recognize the source of our sadness. When we kneel before our Lord and let Him be the source of our hope, He becomes everything to us.
Our souls will pant for the Lord and thirst for the living God. (Psalm 42:1-2) We can then confidently say we “hope in God” like the Psalmist. (Psalm 42:11) Even though our tears have been our food day and night, we will know with Whom is the help of our countenance (Psalm 42:11).
Being Real With Each Other
After we’ve spent time before the Lord being raw and open, we can then have the confidence to do the same with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a very real possibility that the Lord may not remove us from whatever circumstance has caused our sadness. But He has given us each other as a gift to walk together through the storm. Galatians 6:1-5 tells us that each one has a load to bear. But it also tells us to bear each other’s burdens.
Yes, we all have something. All God’s children have a load to bear. We all have tough stuff going on. But we also have the body of Christ.
So, I’ll ask again… What would happen if we were real with one another? Would it really be that scary? Perhaps, at first. But I challenge you to do it anyway. The next time someone is before you and you’ve asked the standard “how are you?” and gotten the routine answer of “good,” yet you can tell that’s not the honest truth, gently say “are you really good?” Then stick around for the answer and begin the process of becoming a real burden-bearer in that person’s life. You will be amazed how focusing on someone else’s pain gives you hope that together in Christ, you can make it.