PSALM 55:1–3 – Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan, because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me.”
THEME OF THE DAY: BE REAL, CHRISTIAN. Ever put on the outward Sunday going to church face. Be honest. Have there been times we entered our churches, and someone asks, “How are you?” and we responded, “Fine, thanks, how are you?” and it wasn’t true? We should have said something like, “Not great. We had a family argument coming to church. It has been a miserable week at work. I snapped unkind words toward my spouse or kids. I haven’t read my Bible with any level of excitement in days. And I dragged myself to church when I would rather have stayed in bed.”
Okay, maybe, you haven’t put on the “spiritual Sunday face” before others, but I have. Here is the great revelation of the day (not really) but at least a good reminder; all Christians struggle in life just like non-Christians. We complain about circumstances. We moan out of emotional, spiritual, and physical pain being inflicted upon us by the devil, the world, other people, even ourselves. It happens to all of us. It happened to David in today’s scripture. He is struggling with real and present enemies and circumstances, and though we may not have literal enemies seeking our physical destruction, we face daily struggles within and without.
And that, my friend, defines life in a sin-cursed world, but God has provided us the way to handle life’s pains. It is the church being the church. It is God’s people not putting on the “Sunday I am fine face” and learn to enter the lives of one another with honesty and weep with those who weep and carry one another’s burdens (Romans 12:15b, Galatians 6:2).
Until we leave our “safe zone” of private lives, and be the church, the world won’t listen to our message nor pay attention to the Christ we proclaim is love, forgives sinners, and heals the brokenhearted. Remember, the hurting world of bruised reeds and smoldering wicks is not looking for perfection from Christians. They are looking for sincerity and hope from Christians. And this was so revealed to me one night in our church parking lot.
It was a Tuesday night when our church had its outreach ministry of basketball. We built a couple nice courts, and the Lord consistently was bringing 30, 40 and more people to play and sit under the gospel. The night was exciting with a good crowd. Soon, it was winding down and I was the last one closing for the night. Beside one of our courts was a blanket laid out and two small infants in the middle. A middle-aged woman was with them. I said, “Nice looking children.” She quickly responded, “They are my grandbabies.” She then pointed at two younger women shooting basketball. She said, “Those are my daughters, and the father of these babies abandoned them.” She commenced to pour out a life of hurt, betrayal, and pain. She then quizzed, “Who are you?” I said, “I am the pastor of this church.” Her face sunk as if she was the woman caught in adultery before the religious crowd. I quickly touched her shoulder and said, “No, I am not judging you.” She looked at me, with maybe a glimmer of hope. I asked her, “Do you know what the church is?” and before she could give me a religious answer, I responded, “The church is a bunch of messed up people meeting with other messed up people to find the One who fixes messed up people.” She smiled, and her next words were, “Do you think me, and my daughters could come to your church?” I smiled back, “Of course, come and join the rest of us messed up people.”
The world needs to see the church of the Lord Jesus with Christians who yes, struggle, and don’t hide behind a prideful shield of “The Sunday Going to Church Face.” Yes, the world needs to see genuine Christians who are not afraid to be real. After all, those are the only people Jesus receives!
PRAYER: “Father, thank You that Your Word does not hide the painful realities in life.”
QUOTE: “Christians need to be honest. No one has it together so let’s not put on the face that we do.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,