Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
By: Shannon Green
How are you? No, really, how are you? How is your heart? How many times a day do you pass someone and ask that question or have that question asked of you? What is the response? Good or fine? Is it true, though? When we ask, do we wait for a truthful response? If we respond, why are we not always honest? What holds us back?
Pastor Jeremy has made the statement, “Be honest with me in 2023!” What holds us back from this? We may make assumptions when we look around the church or see others interacting on social media that we are the only ones struggling. When we see each other’s highlight reels, we sometimes think everyone else’s life is perfect. We think everyone else has it all together, and we are the only one who seems to be falling apart. The truth is that we are all sinners who have fallen short, and no one is perfect or has it all together all the time.
There are many reasons we should be honest with one another. For starters, the Bible says that we should. James 5:16 says, “therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. We need each other, and there is power in humbling ourselves and seeking support in prayer from one another. As this verse states, there is healing in this. The act of taking something from the dark and bringing it into the light is freeing and allows us to not only be honest with others but with ourselves and allows God to continue to work in our lives and lead to growing sanctification.
Second, being honest allows others to speak into our lives and to carry our burdens. Galatians 6:2 says, “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you fulfill the law of Christ.” The opportunity to care for, minister to, and support others is a commandment, and the opportunity to do so builds community. By really getting to know one another, we get the chance to do life together and to create a church where we encourage one another and build each other up. It also allows others to “Speak the Truth” in love and to draw us closer to Christ by showing us what God’s word says about our situation. Humbly seeking Godly counsel from others allows us to seek clarity and move forward.
Finally, there is power in your testimony to bring glory to God. By telling your story and how God has been working in your life, you may help others who are now walking through something you have experienced in the past. Coming through a time of struggle and then sharing that with others, rather than keeping it private, helps others see how God can help them too. In John 4, Jesus interacts with the Samaritan woman at the well. When she believes, she runs off to tell others about what Jesus did in her life. As it is written, because of her testimony, many came and heard, and they, too, believed. You never know the impact your story can have on others, and by sharing the hope you have found in Christ; it draws others closer to Him. It may even help them to know that we all need Jesus in our lives, and no one is perfect!
So, this is the challenge. Let’s be honest with one another. Let’s be willing to be vulnerable and share what is going on and how we may need support. Or let’s be willing to share the joy of how God has been working in your life in this season. Hey, maybe we could meet one another for coffee in the church café and practice honesty in 2023.