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on May 4, 2012

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2, NKJV)

        I have been thinking some more about this verse. I know I concentrated on how we twist ourselves to make sure the world still likes us even though we are different now. But I don’t think that is the only case where this applies. I think it also applies within the church itself.

       How many times have you “played church” on Sundays? You (and your family, if you have one) go to church and you say the right things and you do the right things and you hear a good message from the word of God, one that could make your life better, and you are determined to apply it. But then, you go home, change out of your Sunday person and you are left feeling kind of empty. The message doesn’t seem as important all of a sudden, what you can remember of it.

      What would our churches be like if we just came as we are? Brought our messy, less than perfect selves to the altar and let Christ and the brethren minister to us and we ministered to others in turn. Would the building collapse or just our idea of what “church” is?

       It would be uncomfortable, especially at first. No doubt about that. Honesty often is. A lot of talk in the past few years has been about living transparently so that others can better see what God is doing in our lives. I don’t agree with public transparency. If God wants me to share my life with someone, he will let me know. I don’t need to bare myself to everyone I meet. But I do believe we all need a few people with whom we can totally be ourselves. Who will accept us, love us and correct us when we need it. Who will hold us accountable for our actions and will hold us up in front of God when we need them to. This is what the church is supposed to be.

        But is it? I would bet not. We are humans and so the church will never be a perfect institution. However, we can do better than we have been. If your church is too large for that kind of intimacy then get into a small group or create one. Sitting under an anointed pastor is a must. We need to be fed. But, just as important, is having the opportunity to minister to others and be ministered to. If we are going to live the abundant life Jesus promised us we have to stop pretending to be who we aren’t whether that is someone of the world or the person we present to the church on Sunday. We have to be us in all our glorious, messy, complicated selves.


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