“‘Our notion of authenticity should not primarily be about affirming each other in our struggles—patting each other on the back as we share about porn struggles while enjoying a second round of beers at the local pub Bible study. Rather, authenticity comes when we collectively push each other, by grace, in the direction of Christ-likeness.
“Luis Salazar of Whittier, California, finds it sad that so many young evangelicals seem to think dramatic struggles with sin are more real. “I would never want to walk through it again,” Salazar said. “I wish I hadn’t gone through all that. A lifestyle of flashy sin isn’t necessary to experience grace. It’s not necessary to have a grand testimony of brokenness in order to be an authentic Christian.”
“Could it be that the most authentic thing any of us can do is faithfully pursue holiness and obediently follow after Christ?'”
I see this more and more. A true follower of Christ isn’t made in his hard dark past or traumatic upbringing. He is made by the blood of Christ. He seeks hard after God and pursues holiness and obedience above ALL.
A big testimony is not so much about our past state as it is our present condition.
I believe we need to share past/present sin struggles with eachother. The bond-forming exchange develops a safe space we otherwise wouldn’t have but that shouldn’t be where we stay. How can we spur one another on, encouraging holiness, if we stay complacent in our sins? We should call sin what it is and help each other kick it to the curb through Christ Jesus. We should talk about and bond over God’s goodness far more than our shortcomings. After Salvation, our continued failings are certainly not something with should seek affirmation for or revel in.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
These Bible verses are clear. First, if we keep sinning wilfully then there no longer remains a sacrifice – Jesus’ great sacrifice – for sins. Second, we should confess our sins to one another and be healed – not find affirmation or revelry. These two are very different from what’s going on in Christian circles today.
Futhermore, I agree with Luis Salazar’s statement, I would never want to walk through my past struggles again. And really why would anyone?! Trust and believe that your sustained peaceful life testimony displays as much of God’s power as my dramatic one, so long as we’re true ALL-IN followers of Jesus. Afterall, it’s about Him – His power, His glory, His mercy, His grace, our devotion to Him, and our worship of Him.
If to this point life has been easy for you, thank God right now. When you pause to think of all the things He has sheltered you from, you’ll realize instead of complaining about not receiving a degree from the school of hard knocks, His protection is actually something far better. A gift you should be adamantly praising Him for. If however, you still want to be tested, I suggest you put yourself out there BIG TIME for Christ (ie. street evangelism, door to door outreach). Perhaps, you’ll be persecuted to a degree or in the same manner as our Lord and finally share in His sufferings. Or is that not what you had in mind?! I urge you to pray on it.
If to this point your life has been one constant struggle after the other, share that and then grow from it. Share
what you’ve overcome and tell of the One who walks you through it – Jesus – but help others to do the same.
End Game: Keep growing in the grace and likeness of our Lord.
Call To Action: Christ-like or bust for all of us.
To God be the all the glory forever and ever. AMEN
Jennifer – I Give God All The Glory