I grew up in a church where I was taught Bible stories but not much about what it looked like to have a relationship with Jesus and how beautiful community can be when done well.
People didn’t talk about their brokenness, their struggles, or what was going on in their lives on a deep level. At least not that I can remember.
But, Jesus is all about relationship.
A relationship with Him and community with others.
These relationships aren’t meant to be filtered or like our highlight reel on social media.
These relationships are real. They’re honest, vulnerable, and accepting.
I think when people think of Christianity, they tend to think of it as living a perfect life where no one has issues. And if they do, they aren’t talked about.
My experience the past few years has shattered that thought.
Community with fellow believers is the place you talk about the deep + dark stuff, celebrate life, and the way God has shown up in your life. It’s not a relationship where you answer the surface level questions and continue on about your day.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
It’s a place where you talk about your “ish.”
You have the freedom to talk about your “ish” in a judgement free, loving zone.
I’ve shown up to my friends houses/apartments and shared some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in life. Things I wish I could change, take back, or redo.
Things that have brought me shame and guilt.
Tears, hugs, maybe a lil back rub and words of wisdom.
I wasn’t judged, ridiculed, or turned away.
I was accepted and reminded that Jesus loves me unconditionally and while my decisions may have been wrong/sinful, I have been forgiven and redeemed.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
There’s no reason for me to sit in my shame, guilt, and brokenness. I’m able to move forward and accept the grace the cross offered me all those years ago.
While the stereotype of Christians may be judgmental, boring, and perfect, I hope you meet a believer who has adopted the truth that we aren’t in a position to judge and Jesus calls us to love.
I hope you know you are shown grace and forgiveness regardless of your past or what you may do in the future.
Yes the goal is to walk the narrow path and live a life that glorifies Jesus, but obviously the man knows we’re going to fail because of the fall of man (ole Adam and Eve).
So, live a life that’s filled with joy, freedom and peace knowing that nothing can change God’s love for you. Talk about your life and brokenness, and when you experience community in the right way, you’ll get a very small (human) glimpse of His love.
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” – 1 Peter 3:8
Let’s be friends!