Monday, May 01, 2006

Community and Confession

So. Let's say I'm building a community here. A community of individuals who confess Jesus Christ as their savior. Jesus died for our sins. Yes, I'm a sinner. Yes, I need help(salvation) to be able to make it in the world God created for me. The sin in my life prevents me from being whole and able to fully enjoy the fullness of God's ultimate creation....which was created for ME and my ultimate pleasure and enjoyment. Every good thing ever created was created for me and my pleasure....and yet....sin (rejection of God and His plan) entered the world and now I'm stuck in the middle. I'm stuck in a world where sin rules and where following God and His original intent for me goes against the "bent" of natural man.

How do we build the community of believers in the midst of a world "bent" towards sinfulness?

I think we do that by being transparent enough to confess our sin struggles to one another. We let each other know exactly what it is we need help with. We don't hide from the sin that besets us. We bring it out in the open. We let each other KNOW, so that we can LOVE one another and minister to one another. We don't "police" the sin of our brothers and sisters. We LOVE each other in the sinful state in which we find ourselves....and we all admit that we are SINNERS. We all struggle. We all sin. We have given sin too high a place in our culture. It's held in such high esteem that we run and hide from it. We need to bring it down to where we LIVE and breathe and break it's power by exposing it to the light of DAY....the light of CHRIST.

I will begin. I will begin right here and now by being transparent and open with everyone who reads this blog. I struggle. I struggle with the sin of drunkenness. I've not succubmed to it recently.....but...it's a struggle for me. I enjoy a glass of wine with friends now and then. I enjoy a glass of wine (or two) :) in the evenings after school. And yet, if I'm not careful, I can easily turn one or two glasses of wine into three or four. And that's too many. I deal with this. I struggle with this. God is calling me toward holiness where this is concerned. It's very difficult for me to share this. And yet, I feel called and compelled to share the difficult things. My goodness....look at what I've exposed about Tdub just by the very fact of my blog! How dare I be so prideful as to not share some of my own struggles when I've written an entire blog based on his! What a wretched person I'd be otherwise.

No, we don't have to share sins, tit for tat. It's not like that. And, since sins don't have measure in God's eyes, it's only a human thing...it's just US....that we make such a big deal out of one sin over another. God doesn't do that. Basically, He just keeps loving us not matter what we're dealing with. He's just so awesome that way.

My point is this. We need to build a community of believers where we can share our struggles without fear of condemnation. We need to be able to be transparent with one another so that we can minister to and LOVE one another with the love of Christ. Then, and only then, will we be able to go OUT into the world and SHARE THE LOVE OF CHRIST. We need to understand what His love looks like WITHIN the body....and then take that same love OUTSIDE the body.

It looks like, to me, that so many "religious" folks are too worried about getting everything "just right", and not at all concerned about loving people in whatever situation they find them. Jesus loved us FIRST....WHILE WE WERE SINNERS.

grace





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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was inspired. I'm speechless (and that doesn't happen often, lol). You are a blessing, Grace. Thank you.

David

grace said...

Thank YOU!
grace

Brady said...

What an amazing post, Grace. I've talked before on my blog about the Christian friends I had growing up that really allowed me to understand what being Christian was all about.

I miss them for all that they taught me. You remind me so much of them. It makes me smile every time I think about it...

(I know this isn't necessarily a "smiling" sort of post, but you openness just reminded me again of them. Really great post.)

grace said...

Brady,
Friends like that are priceless.....it's what our journey in Christ is really all about, it seems.
Thanks for your encouragment!
grace

Angie said...

I hate that I haven't had a chance to join in the discussion earlier... but as usual, you've provoked (in a good way!) layers of thoughts that require me to dig deeper. I love that about you.

I love you so much more for this post. It took me YEARS to voice some of my secret struggles... but I would rally for others to share, convincing them I am a safe person. It was all very heartfelt and genuine, but lacking a balance.

God has left it up to us to break the old cycles and come clean... Girl, you're starting a revolution, and I'm on board!