Found myself in a conversation this morning with a fellow staffer whose husband is depressed. Taking meds but still depressed. In my attempts to encourage her, it occurred to me that her husband doesn’t take his meds regularly enough because he probably thinks if he were a “true believer” then he wouldn’t struggle with feeling down or “depending on anything but Jesus”. We don’t allow ourselves the freedom of being weak, do we? Some guilt-ridden part of our mind whispers “You lack faith if you depend on anything but Jesus. You aren’t as strong a Christian if you need help. Why aren’t you counting your blessings? Surely life isn’t that bad that can’t just pray through it.”
This is a common thing Christians seem to buy into, that our lives should be happy and perfect. And, sometimes they are close, but no life will stay ideal. It isn’t the way God works. Refinement comes by way of the fire and until we are perfected in heaven we’ll always have some remnant of impurities. There is a pressure to make everything appear alright in our lives. What God seems to most enjoy is broken people with contrite hearts and authentic dependency on receiving strength from the Holy Spirit. In an IM with a friend yesterday, I referenced the pressure as:
… some churches forget that to “be like Christ” means “attempt to be…” not “project the appearance of [being]” like christ… and that is what it boils down to for me… i want to acknowledge my imperfections and by shining light on said failures, Glorify God in the mystery of His having made me Righteous when I didn’t deserve it.
Last week, someone passed this farse of a blog entry to me on how to create a relevant pastor blog. Though a great read for any Christian blogger, #10 is the most relevant to this present diatribe on the pressure to be all-good.
10) Stay upbeat! I can’t stress this enough. Christians are always supposed to be happy, and seekers will fuel off of your enthusiasm. It’s contagious you know. Even if your dog dies, stay upbeat about it. Remember, even if you are not a very inspirational person, people will think you are, just because you are so enthusiastic.
Silly, isn’t it?