I’m not a psychologist or a pastor, heck I haven’t even graduated college yet. You might be saying to yourself why should I listen to you? Why am I even reading the blog of a 23 year old Sailor who hasn’t been a Christian half as long as I have been? That might be you, and I can’t blame you for thinking that. I can’t blame you for checking out now. Or hitting the backspace button.
If you decide to stay, this post is about something I know I struggle with and something I think others might struggle with also. I decided to share some of my experiences with this and hope it at least helps get you thinking.
In Hip-Hop Artist Lecrae’s song “Fakin” he raps about wannabe Gangsters. In that same song he says:
“You pump faking’ ain’t shootin’, ain’t killin’, ain’t doin’ half them thangs you say you doin’ “
Later he says “We on that Jesus soul healin’ so serious, gorillas wild ain’t we, can’t tame us, been changed, can’t change us 1:16 – You can’t shame us. Live that truth; you can’t blame us.”
The numbers 1:16 Lecrae is referring to is Romans 1:16 which says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
I wish I could say the lyrics from that song didn’t apply to me. Now let me be clear; for those of you who know me I am not talking about pretending to be a “gangsta” I am talking about the “fakin” I think most Christians struggle with. I am talking about the “holier than thou” mentality. When I came to Christ it was anything but normal, I had this overwhelming sense of purpose coursing through me, but there was a problem. I was merely masking my sin, not repenting.
What I thought I could outrun had come back in a huge way. You see around the time I came to Christ I also had a Christian girlfriend, and great Christian best friends. Life as a new Christian was easy, sure it was lonely at first because I obviously had to ditch all of my old friends and cling to this new populous of fellow Christ-Followers but once I accepted that, life was blissful.
Until, the sin I thought I outran caught up with me. You see I think Satan loves when we keep our sin in the dark, in the dark you forget that it’s there. Thinkof it this way if you make a stain on your carpet, especially a nice white carpet, it stands out. Yet if you turn off the lights, shut the blinds, and allow no one to enter that room where the stain lies it’ll soon be forgotten right?
I was fakin’ it. I was so concerned with how I looked to the Christians around me that I forgot that God was there the entire time whispering to me, begging me to talk to someone, to confess my struggle, and ask for help. Ha! My pride wouldn’t allow such a thing, and what went from being a simple struggle with the past became a painful and very real present. One full summer later, I now had a reputation, guilt, burned bridges and a chip sticking out of my eye the size of the Titanic. The greatest blessing God could have given me was spilling my skeletons all over my group of friends, the ones I still had, again. This time the only choice I had was to turn on the light and let everyone not only see the stain on the carpet, but help me scrub it out.
Now let me be clear, in order to stop “fakin” it you’re going to have to put on your pants of courage, pray like a mad man, and beg God to remind you that He is the ONLY rightful judge. I’m not going to say it didn’t suck, some of the people I cared about, respected, and loved the most responded to my sin in ways that shook me to my core. You have two ways to respond: 1. Continue to be a coward and run, run, run. OR 2. Confess your sins, open up and accept that you can’t do life alone. It won’t be easy, but that Sin piercing a hole in your soul is far worse. Trust me.
You see like Romans 1:16 says “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power for salvation to everyone who believes.” I was living in shame, and it wasn’t until I embraced the power of the gospel, the truth of God’s mercy and His grace that I could truly be shameless.
So let me cut this first post here and leave you with some thoughts. What would it look like if we stopped acting like perfect, flawless, My-Sin-Is-Better-Than-Your-Sin type Christians and started owning the fact that we all suck sometimes, that we all sin?
How would that affect our relationships with other Christians, or better yet Non-Christians who could literally see the Grace of God through our love?
What would that world look like?