we are called to be authentic

I heard someone I respect say, ‘authenticity breeds more authenticity.’ and I find I am in agreement.

I used to attend a church where my wife and I were warned by the pastor to not say anything about our pasts, because people might judge. In fact, in a womens Bible study/prayer meeting, my wife shared some weak moments, and rather than being encouraged and lifted up, she was told by two different women to not talk about that stuff.

Yet, I think scripture is clear, we are to be open with other believers, that they might pray for us and help us with our burdens.

Galatians 6:1-3

1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Wouldn’t it be better to share the sins we are caught in, that people can help us be restored to full spiritual health and fellowship with Christ? But how can we do that, if our churches engender an environment where this is not encouraged or allowed, because we worry OTHERS might be judgemental? There is a difference between being judgemental and discerning a sin. We can discern when someone needs help and not judge them. This is the sort of judging we are supposed to do – not make people feel lesser because they are human.

By the same token, we are commanded to confess our sins one to another – not so we can judge others or be judged, but so we can know how to pray for them.

James 5:13-16

13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

We need to be authentic followers of Christ, spirit filled and walking with God. But sometimes we falter. Sometimes others are ahead of us in the spiritual journey. Sometimes we sin. We need help. We need prayer. We need to share our faults and problems with others so they can pray for us and help us not be overburdened. And we need to love God and share that love with others – to love others and be loved by others.

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