Lately, I have just not been able to shake a question from my head that frustrates me to no end.
Why are so many people afraid to admit they have issues/problems/junk??
I find this especially true in churches and it drives me crazy! For some reason, many Christians, especially those in leadership, think that we have to portray this aura of happiness and joy and being "good"...ALL THE TIME!
Check out this YouTube video to get what I mean:
I just met with a friend recently who was struggling with this same thing. They are currently struggling with a lot of issues but yet felt they weren't allowed to tell anyone. They felt like they had to keep putting a good face forward and do everything on their own. Why? Because they felt it would disqualify them from helping and serving others. Because they felt they would be judged by others and met with disgust and disapproval.
From Jesus' perspective, we should have the exact opposite response towards one another and our junk...and this includes issues faced within a marriage or dating relationship!
Jesus, speaking of himself as a doctor said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." (Matthew 9:12) Paul reminds us that all of us are sinners...not just some people. (Romans 3:23) James challenges us as Christians to confess our sins to one another and pray for each other...so that you may be healed! (James 5:16)
In John 15, Jesus talks about being the vine and his followers are the branches. Specifically, in John 15:5, He says that if we remain in him then we will produce fruit. A lot of us get caught up in that part about producing fruit and feel we need to prove ourselves to everyone else by displaying that "fruit" whether or not it is in fact real.
Yet what we forget about the farming process is that often time to make fruit grow, what you need is a good heaping pile of manure. That is nothing to be ashamed of but yet a natural, normal thing. At the beginning of Jame's letter he tells us to consider it pure joy whenever we face troubles...because it will teach us endurance...which in turn, and over time, will "make us perfect." (James 1:2-4)
So here's the challenge: don't be afraid of the "manure" in your life! God will use it for great and mighty things! But in order for God to use it...you need to be honest with it and face it head on. And you shouldn't do it alone!!
Whether it is a good friend, your spouse or significant other, or whether it is a pastor or counselor, don't keep your "manure" to yourself but find someone to talk to so that together you can tend to the garden that is your life and stay connected to the vine of Christ and produce the best possible fruit of which you are capable.