I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the following about a Hollywood/Celebrity break-up: “Oh, I can’t believe it. They seemed so happy.” But was there authenticity?
They’re actors. That’s what they do. They act. And they act because if they don’t they’ll have to deal with a litany of questions and accusations while simultaneously living under a microscope. They act because it’s expected of them. It’s what we want.
We want to believe fairytale, yet despise it at the same time.
But sadly, while those couples are walking around “acting” like they’ve got it all together, the rest of us are schlumping around thinking we’re missing out on something great.
I mean, look at them. My husband doesn’t look at me like that. My kids don’t act as angelic as theirs, and I never look that good when I go to the 7-11. I must be a complete louse.
Somehow we buy into the “image” and believe that our lives should be as perfect as theirs. Then, it all falls apart, we gasp in horror, discuss it amongst ourselves, and then quickly move on to the next couple to look up to. Or put on a pedestal.
Sound familiar? Well guess what, we do it in the real world too.
We do it with fellow believers.
Here are some things that you might say to yourself about other Christians:
- She has a prayer closet and prays at least an hour a day. I wish I had the dedication to do that.
- That woman has five kids, a husband, a job and she still got all the Beth Moore bible study homework done. How on earth does she do it? I wish I was more like her.
- Look at how sweet her husband is. He has his arm around her in church. My husband doesn’t do that. They must have a wonderful marriage.
- She always looks perfect.
- Her house always looks perfect.
- Her kids always look perfect… and act perfect.
- He goes to all the men’s activities – maybe if my husband would do that . . .
- I wish I had it all together like __________.
Let’s get real here people!
Honestly, my problem isn’t as much with the people who think those things – it’s with the people who let people think those things. Both sides are part of the problem.
Look, this following Christ thing can be really hard. Sometimes it’s great but sometimes it flat out sucks and if you ever need someone to remind you of that – come sit next to me cause I’ll be honest and tell you how it is.
- My husband and I have been married for more than twenty years and I know that every so often we look at each other and wonder what on earth ever made us think that getting married was a good idea. And then the feeling passes…. until it returns… but goes away again.
- My kids – they used to fight in the car all the way to church and I would scream my head off at them until we pulled in the church parking lot. But now, they don’t fight in the car on the way because they’re teenagers and I can’t even wake them up to get in the car to go to church…. not without screaming my head off… which appears to be a common Sunday morning theme. As I’ve said before, Lionel Richie’s song “Easy Like Sunday Morning” was written by someone who never had to get kids to church.
- I can be a complete and utter witch and usually don’t even apologize for it.
- Although I try, I don’t read my bible every day. And when I read it for more than two days in a row, I think I deserve an award.. or a sticker, like when I went to Sunday School. Yay, me!
- I don’t make my bed. And I’ve slept with a load of laundry at the foot of the bed because I refused to fold it before going to sleep.
- I’ve had to re-run the laundry due to a failure to put the wet laundry in the dryer. I think my record is five times through the washer before the load made it to the dryer.
- I don’t have a prayer closet. I could have a prayer closet if I didn’t have so much junk crammed in every closet in my house, but even if I did have one it would hardly ever get used. Or if I actually climbed in there and it was quiet, I’d fall asleep.
Wait, There’s More
- What I don’t have in a prayer closet, I do have in a prayer car. Cause that’s where I do a lot of praying. In the car. Especially prayers like: “Lord, please find me a great parking spot.” “Thank you for that parking spot.” and other shallow and selfish things like that.
- I constantly have thoughts of being a loser and I worry continually that I’m embarrassing myself – which I probably am.
- I don’t shower every day. And on some days, it takes a lot to get me to the point of putting on a bra and leaving the house. I’m telling you – only food or lunch with a friend can do that… which takes me back to leaving for food.
- 95% of my wardrobe came from thrift stores. And of that 95%, 50% of it doesn’t fit me anymore but I won’t get rid of it because I’m trying to convince myself that I’ll fit into it again someday.
- I’ve taken part in CrossFit 3x a week for about two months. But to this point, I’m still only lifting the 15 pound bar over my head and I’m gritchin’ an moanin’ the entire time that I do it.
- I cuss. And not only when I’m nervous like I sometimes lie and say I do. So that means I cuss AND I lie. Sometimes in the same sentence.
- I’m overly opinionated and for some reason I believe that everyone wants to hear what I’m thinking. Thus, I’m writing this blog post… and all subsequent ones… all full of my opinion.
- I’ve started umpteen Beth Moore Bible studies and have never – ever finished one. I usually don’t make it past the second week.
- I have a slight crush on someone that isn’t my husband. His name is Daryl, he carries a cross-bow, drives a motorcycle and kills zombies. And that crush is only overridden by a crush on his friend, Rick and it’s only when Rick’s clean-shaven or only slightly stuble-ish. And if you don’t know who I’m talking about, we can hardly be friends.
Why did I admit to this?
Because I truly believe that part of my responsibility in leading people to Christ through my life, is being honest with them. I don’t think its fair to put on the show, “draw people to Christ” and then have them walk away because they aren’t the Christians, with the near perfect life that they believe they’re supposed to be. What everyone else seems to be.
Christianity is a journey.
It’s ups and downs and good and bad. It’s hard at times and other times we may coast through. But the bottom line is that none of our lives are perfect. People outside of our Christian circles get this and love to point it out because they see it for what the show can often become – hypocrisy and fake.
The Bible tells us a gazillion times that not only don’t we have it all together, but we aren’t expected to. But somehow we believe that while we aren’t living a new, improved and near utopian existence, other people are. Or we falsely believe that to draw people in, we must make this journey appear to be a breeze (or at least act like it is).
Really? How’s that workin’ for ya?
Are you worn out yet?
Christ’s burden is light – we’re the ones who tend to make it heavy – when we put on the show and then expect others to live up to the perfect example we’ve falsely set for them. And for ourselves.
For the record, if you are one of those people who has a prayer closet, prays every day, finishes all Beth Moore Bible studies, etc, etc, I mean no disrespect – that’s great. And, I’m not saying that you can’t share your successes with people – but, will you also throw us a bone and admit that you eat after 9:00pm or you read really trashy romance novels – something? Anything? Admit that while you excel in some areas you really struggle in others. Please?
Look, I set the bar very low. If you ever feel the need to compare yourself to someone else – use me cause.
You’ll win every time.
I don’t do much right, BUT when it comes to loving the Lord, trying my hardest and wanting to make a difference in the world because he asks me to – I’m all over it. I may not do it well, but I give it a good effort.
There are some people out there that are meant to lead those who’ve got it figured out and there are those that are meant to lead people to salvation. I believe I’m here to walk beside those who are struggling along the way but refuse to give up the journey. I’m here to say “you’re doing good – keep moving. I’m just like you and I believe that we can do this thing.”
So, let’s all admit it, we’re completely flawed yet completely forgiven – some of us are just more flawed than others. A lot. More. Flawed.
Accept it, and accept yourself. As you are.
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