Friday, April 12, 2013

be real


Romans 12:9  NLT
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.

There are far too many “wanna-bes” and “pretenders” in the world today.  Often these people are trying to get something from you or trying to get some position they want.  In their trek to get what they want there are lies told, untruth build on and people believe things about them that aren’t true.

One of the things that we strive to do at The Community Fellowship is to be real or to be transparent.  When we are real, other people will get real.  When we are honest, others will get honest.  When we get and give forgiveness, we will more likely give and receive forgiveness from others.  It is time to stop pretending to be something we are not.  It is important to not try to make people think that we are better, or we don’t have problems.

Like the rest of the world most of us have issues.  Another of the issues with pretending in front of other people is pretending to ourselves and lying to ourselves.  Maybe you have convinced yourself that you are better than others or that your sin or habit really isn’t that bad.  Let’s get real with this issue:

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Everyone.  No one is excluded.  Everyone needs God.  Not everyone believes that, but it is true.  The Bible tells us in many places that humanity is fallen and needs to be redeemed.  And I love to be part of sharing God’s grace and redemption with others.

Transparency or being real isn’t easy to understand.  This week Pastor Kevin Martineau shared a blog post about this topic that had lots of great insight. Here are some of things Kevin shared:

What transparency is not:

1. Transparency is not an excuse to tell a person how you are really feeling or what you really think of them.

2. Transparency is not just unloading everything that is going on in your life to every person you meet.

What is transparency?

Transparency is removing the mask and revealing who you really are; it is getting beyond the surface to what is really going on in your heart.

Some biblical examples of transparency

1. Jesus cried at Lazarus’ death.

John 11:35 “Jesus wept” (my favourite verse to learn as a kid).  He cries because He sees Lazarus’ sisters, the other family and friends’ hurt and pain and also because Lazarus was His friend too.  Jesus allows Himself to be vulnerable by allowing the people there to see what was really going on in His heart…

2. In almost every one of Paul’s letters he reveals something about himself.

In Romans 7:7-25, Paul shares some of the struggles in his life with sin.  Paul, who these people are looking up to as their spiritual leader, is sharing that he too struggles with sin.  Actually, not just struggles with it, but being is even overwhelmed by it at times as well. Wow, that is being transparent!

…A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.

The original post from Kevin Martineau is at this link.

This week we begin a new series called I LOVE COMMUNITY, and we will be discussing and really uncovering the blocks on which The Community Fellowship was founded.  One of those blocks is our core value of “being real” or being transparent.  If you have heard me preach or read much of what I have written, you know that I am pretty transparent, and it is my believe that for far too long we Christians have tried to hide our pain, our past and our deepest issues.  We have to be careful with how we share them, but we must share.

By being honest we find strength, healing, redemption and rest.  By being real others will too find strength, healing and redemption.  Thus I pray that your church and ours, that you and me, will be as real as we can so that God can work in awesome ways to bring more people to Himself.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

1 John 1:9  NLT
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

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