Lately, God seems to be speaking to me about authenticity in the church. (Like here and here.) We aren’t the true church if we just “play” church with our stylish purple Bibles or insist we’re “fine” when our world is crumbling. Being the church means being real, confessing our sin, praying for our enemies, and enduring to the end. A high calling.
It also means spurring each other on with the comfort we’ve received. One reason for authenticity is that someone else might be walking through the very same thing we’ve recently overcome. Hearing of God’s faithfulness through our own valley can light a fire of faith in those beside us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
It’s like at the park the other day. My oldest is the cautious, rule-abider who rarely takes risks. While my middle is…well…the middle. He needs caution signs taped to his shirt.
When my oldest saw her younger brother going all the way across the monkey bars, she decided that she could do it too. And she did. She was so proud of herself that she ran to me shouting, “Mom, I didn’t think I could do it but then I saw Bryson do it and I felt like I could!”
If we’ve walked through a valley by faith, seeing the provisions of our God, then that thing needs some testifyin’. And if we’re in the midst of a valley, hearing the bold faith of those who’ve walked before us spurs us on in the journey. It makes us shout, “You know what? If she can do it, so can I!” By grace through faith.
Being the church means we do this faith walk side-by-side. We need each other. We need the hands of the strong carrying the lame to their Healer. And we need the weak to humbly admit, “I could use some encouragement today.” It’s what’s real. It’s what brings Him glory.
Fill me, Lord…
How has the faith of another spurred you on through a difficult season?
What from your own life needs “some testifyin’”?