Recently I have been reading, Living on the Edge, by Chip Ingram. This book has many great insights on how a mature Christian should live their lives. Here is an excerpt from my reading today. The topic is authenticity.
“When I have to hidden sin in my life, the real me can’t show up because I’m hiding something, I have to pretend.
So many of us unknowingly ask the wrong questions when it comes to the issue of sin. The questions so many are asking are, “How close can I get to sin without without crossing the line? What rating does a movie have to have so I can watch it without committing a sin? How much can I drink before it’s a sin? How much money can I have before it’s considered greed? How far can we go in this relationship before it’s called sexual immorality? How much can we bend the truth or spin the story before it’s a lie?” We all so this to some degree and it results in Christians who continue to cross lines and cross boundaries that violate their consciences. Once these patterns develop, little private sins begin to take on a life of their own in the secret compartments of our hears. No one knows about them and it takes an enormous amount of energy to keep them hidden. The problem is that sin does not only impact us privately, but every unresolved issue before God will affect others because we are a spiritual, living organism; we”belong to one another” (Romans 12:5).
So her’s how it gets played out in real life. As you meet with a group of fellow believers or with a close friend in Christ and begin to pray and talk about deep issues of the heart, you don’t share what’s really going on because there are areas in your life and your heart that must remain hidden. And so you begin to wear a mask. You begin to pretend. And the grace of God and the power of authentic community are not available to you, nor do you give this power to others. Relationships become more and more superficial, filled with Christian cliche’s and religious jargon. Your soul shrinks and the guilt rises. After a while you find you don’t want to be around committed believers, hear God’s word, or participate in activities that force you to confront your hypocrisy. Loneliness and isolation become your silent partners, while God longs for you to come home, come clean, and be restored.”