Love the sinner .. not the sin.. oh, and if you could just pretend as if you never did sin.....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

There is a funny thing called reality. It is not the prettiest of things. It is not the funnest (is that even a word?) of things. It can be gritty. It can be smooth. It can be hideous and beautiful.. even at the same time. This reality is captured in many forms. Artists render pictures that show flaws and all.. that is, unless the artist has photo-shop and in that case if that artist knows what is good for him he or she will alter my face and body to make me look like a super model.. capiche?
We live in an age of instagram, photo booth, twit-pic etc..etc. We also can upload our "world premier" music video, diary of a mad (pick a color) person and rant. We live in a society that is on a quest for "reality"... but give it to us with our own "comfortable" slant please. Nowhere is this more evident than in some Christian circles. We like our reality sanitized.. thank you very much. I mean, we can't let little Johnny or Susie know the "real" story of our past. We have to make sure that they think Mommy and Daddy were super Christians from birth carrying on the quest of Christiandom with gusto and perfection. Well, here is the warning for anyone who is easily offended.. you MIGHT want to stop reading now and find a nice Joel Osteen blog and get on with your day. I for one am NOT in the business of trying to just add fluff to your day and make sure my sweet little stories and antic dotes make you feel better about yourself and encourage you to put on a smile and fake it til you make it. (yes, I have actually heard that preached from a pulpit before)
Why do we offer people such a small view of what God can do with a life? Is it more important to protect our reputation or appearances that we do not share with others our struggles or our past sins that God has forgiven? What is the deal? Why the shame? Now, I am not suggesting that we all sit around and just go on a sin-fest-share-a-thon and have a good ol' time.. I am saying that we can lose our effectiveness as a witness for Christ when we hide from it.
There is a room in all of our houses.. you know the one.. the one where all the crap lying around your house is shoved when you have guests coming over. Mine is the spare room.. which is exactly WHY I have a 4 bedroom house.. to have a crap room. In a panic I shove it all in there.. unfolded laundry, kids backpacks, half eaten cakes.. ok, maybe not the cakes but you get the picture. Then my guests come into my "clean" house and I get to pretend that everything is in order. I only lose my cool and panic when they happen to wander down the hall towards "the room" It is like The Tell Tale Heart and Beauty and the Beast all in one. I hear the heart beat and if they dare to touch the door knob I turn into the Beast and inside I am screaming.. "I told you never to GO in there!" Why? Because I want my guests to see the "cleaned up" version of my house.
This is just like what we do in our lives. We shove all our "crap" down and put on the "put together" mask and soldier on. All the while we are presented with people and opportunities to GENUINELY share Jesus with others and we smile through them. I for one find that God uses my "crap" as a tool to share Him with others. I can not even begin to tell you how many women I have spoken too who used to be alcoholics or sexually abused, emotionally abused, abandoned, lonely, ran from God, into drugs, anger issues etc..etc.. the list goes on. God is GLORIFIED by my admissions to these women of my past and then POINT them to the one who forgave me and is making me new every day. Oh my friends, how many broken hearts have we (not purposefully) ignored and rubbed salt into the wounds by acting as if we are perfect? How many desperate cries have we muffled by our "reality" banter and "clutter free" conversations?

The Bible is FULL of imperfect people. Daytime soaps have NOTHING on the Old Testament I tell you. Why do you suppose the inspired Word of God contains all these details? I mean, it could have been weeded out and cleaned up for us so that we wouldn't blush. But it reads, warts and all. The beauty of that is the redemption that is offered and many times given. The crucifixion would most certainly not be an event we would want our Church Lady Luncheon to be held at. The wife of Hosea would probably be a topic that we did not approach.. unless we are catching up on our gossip.
This post is getting a tad long, so I will wrap up. Here goes.

That is all.

<3 Heather

1 comment:

  1. Guilty as charged on the messy house trick! I've found over the past year that the more I'm moved to share my past when necessary, it is remarkably easy admitting to those shameful secrets. In fact, it's liberating, because it's always in conjunction with the message of Christ's love and forgiveness. It's helping me learn to forgive myself as well. Thanks, Heather, for being so transparent, and being bold! You encourage me to stay real in this otherwise made-over, sugar coated world. I'm still not stepping out without my face touched up a bit! ;-)