Vital signs-Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022
Authentic friendships are more than superficial, surface-level chit-chat. They involve genuine, heart-to-heart, sometimes gut-level, sharing. These friendships develop when we get honest about who we are and what is happening in our lives. They develop when we share our hurts, reveal our feelings, confess our failures, disclose our doubts, admit our fears, acknowledge our weaknesses, and ask for help and prayer. Unfortunately, this level of authenticity and intimacy is the exact opposite of what we find in many churches. Instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, we often become involved in pretending, role-playing, politicking, superficial politeness, and shallow conversation. We begin to wear masks, keep our guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in our lives. These attitudes are the death of real friendship. It's only as we become open about our lives that we experience authentic fellowship. The world thinks intimacy occurs in the dark, but God says it happens in the light. We tend to use darkness to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws. But in God's light, we can bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are. This is the way we grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy.
The Bible says, "Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed." (James 5:16 MSG)