Friday, January 8, 2010

Masquerade Party

What is it with the mask-wearing? Being inauthentic. Phony. When the first day of the week arrives, many don their well used "Sunday-Go-To-Meeting" masks and go do their thing. But deep in the core of their souls, they are someone else. They are not who they appear to be. They might struggle with horrendous memories. Or unconfessed sin. Or incredible shame. Or collapsed relationships. Or serious health issues. Or any one of a million things that come with living life.

The distressing dichotomy renders them paralyzed and powerless as they struggle with sadness, guilt, shame, anxiety, fear. They are not able to be who they really are. They are not able to be authentic. They are phony. And they know it. And because they love God and so desperately need others to care for and support them, their mask-wearing is killing them slowly.

I admire people who listen to the Spirit and come to the point where they become courageous enough to admit that all is not well. They crave healing. They long for genuine community. They're ready to be set free from the invisible albatross around their necks. They want to be real, to be people of integrity. And they are willing to do battle with the enemy of their souls to become who God says they are in Jesus Christ.

All of us need a church family, a community of hope and faith where we can find emotional healing and spiritual growth. A lighthouse, a hospital ... not a country club.

As Lynne Thompson states, "If you're not interested in being honest and sharing your struggles you might as well go join a club. Why go to church at all?"

So I encourage you to be real. First with yourself. Then with God. If you're church isn't safe for you, if you feel judged, condemned, or unsupported in your journey, ask Him to help you be wise and discerning as you seek a family of faith where you can come as you are. He is able to guide you to a fellowship where you will be loved and accepted, and where your faith can grow.

And if you're in church leadership and are tired of business as usual, and you want to be effective in reaching out to those around you, you'll probably find Pete Scazzaro's book, THE EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY CHURCH to be powerful resource for you. It was an "Ah - THAT"S IT!" experience for me. Read why.

Pursue authenticity. Pursue healing. Pursue Jesus.

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Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...


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