Real Life, Honest, Christianity
One of the things God has used to grow my relationship with Him the most over the years is other Christians. My mom used to tell me that I was a people person. I thrive on relationships with others. Connecting with others and getting to know the real them, I love it.
And God has used that in my life in some major ways.
Most notably, is that He has used the honesty of others to help me grow in Him.
The first time a Christian woman admitted to me that she didn’t have it all together, a huge burden was lifted. Granted, she wasn’t just any Christian woman, she was like super mom in my eyes. She was our pastor’s daughter-in-law, super fit, and a stay-at-home-mom who was part of the worship team and an international missionary. I’m telling you, she was everything a good Christian should be, and she knew her Bible inside and out.
And then she confessed that she struggled with depression. That she questioned her faith because of an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness.
Another time the woman who hosted our Bible study confessed that her house wasn’t always as clean as we saw it each week. In fact, she said if we showed up unannounced at any other time during the week, that it would be a wreck. Again, a huge burden was lifted.
Not because I rejoiced in their struggles, but because it made me realize that struggling was okay. That it was okay to be less than perfect.
This morning on Instagram, I posted a picture of my less-than-tidy quiet time assortment.
But it didn’t really show the big picture.
Under my Bible study bar, we keep the girls roller skates, a couple of plants that haven’t found new homes since we remodeled last spring, the kids backpacks (even a couple of empty ones that they aren’t using right now), and currently, my Bible study bag that I got out this morning and forgot to put away.
Not shown in the picture is my pile of books, pencil caddy, and papers for the day’s planning session. So even my untidy picture was tidier than reality.
It also didn’t show that I took the kids to school in some scrubs, because I don’t usually shower until mid-morning – you know, after my quiet time and workout session (the workout session I don’t always get to that is).
The point is, it’s easy to wear a mask and only let outsiders see what you want them to see.
It’s easy to portrait yourself as having it all together to those who don’t really know you.
But what a shame it is when we do that.
When we put ourselves on pedestals that we don’t belong on in the first place, it can cause others to think less of themselves because they aren’t as good as us.
As Christian women, it’s easy to do that, I don’t think any of us do it on purpose. I truly believe that most of us have a heart for Christ and are trying to show other women how to live for Him, but we need to know that God doesn’t expect perfection.
Yes, Jesus told us to, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). But I think that perfection comes less from our works, and more from our faith.
We will never be perfect this side of heaven, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) but “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
If someone tells you that they never sin, then they are deceiving themselves–and you. For 1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
How much better would our lives be if we were honest about our struggles?
We all have them.
We all struggle with something.
1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.” How great would it be to have other Christian women come alongside of us and let us know that we are not alone.
Let’s face it, sometimes we need a flesh and blood woman of God to confirm what Scripture has already promised. It’s easy to feel like no one would ever understand what we are going through. It’s easy to convince ourselves that no one else fails the way we do. That no one struggles the way we do.
But they do.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
~ James 5:16
If you were honest, what is one thing you struggle with that you think other Christian women have rose above?
I’ll go first, then you can share your answer in the comments below.
I already mentioned that it was a huge relief when I found out other Christian women struggled with depression and house cleaning. Those two are big for me.
However, I would love to know if other Christian women struggle with balancing their priorities. I know God needs to be first in my life. I know my biggest ministry needs to be to my family. But fleshing that out with the responsibilities and commitments I have, can sometimes pose a struggle for me. I’m getting better, but I still stumble and fall. I make the wrong choices on the best way to spend my time. And when I look at other Christian women, they appear to always make the right choices. Being amazing parents and wives, serving God, cleaning their homes, and working to support their families.
I know I only see the outside, so tell me, does anyone else struggle with balancing priorities and responsibilities?
(Don’t forget to share your own struggles in the comments!)