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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Keeping it Real

Overall, walking in the light has been nothing short of exciting. In the past two years, I have witnesssed the sort of supernatural phenomenon and miracles that a TV evangelist dreams of. I have grown spiritually.  Still, along my walk, I've wandered into the desert and a valley or two. Unsurprisingly, I keep bumping into those well meaning brothers and sisters who seem uninfected from malignancy of mundane circumstances that often accompany this life.  While knowing Jesus as my personal savior excites me, I confess sometimes life gets me down. After a huge spiritual growth my walk feels more like a crawl. Not unlike the past three weeks. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try to spice it up, life is just boring. Worst, sometimes life is painful. Many Christians believe showing negative emotions are a sign of faithlessness. Where did the notion Christians have to always act pleasantly excited come from? Certainly not from Christ's example. Follow Jesus from Bethany to Jerusalem and you'll see His sadness, anger, and disappointment. Yet many Christ followers will force that smile no matter what.  If Jesus doesn't hide His humanity, why should we? Sometimes, I think some of us are false advertising. Odd behavior for people claiming to spread the truth. Pretending your at the top of the spiritual food chain is sort of like lip syncin and dancing to someone else's song doesn't make you a star. It just makes people question is this stuff for real.
The bible teaches us to expect hardships to even rejoice in them. It doesn't say pretend they aren't happening. We need not be ashamed of the hardships. Hope comes from those experiences.  Nothing points it better than Romans 5
 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

When we pretend our lives are perfect , we cheat God, others, and ourselves. We cheat others from the opportunity to grow by helping us. We cheat ourselves of healing and strengthening that can only come from God working through others. We cheat God from the glory He deserves from showing His power at work in people. Some people say, "God never promised us a rose garden." Promised or not that's precisely what we get. Life often shows some occasional beauty while continually surrounding us by plenty of thorns. Christianity isn't pretending the thorns don't exist. It's enduring the thorns for the opportunity to smell the roses. We can allow our experiences to bring hope not only to ourselves but to others but only if we  "keep it real". Let's be honest so we can bear one another's burden. How else are we ever going grow?

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