coffee talk: authenticity & faith

coffee talk 3As I wrestle with the risk of being more authentic, I’m struggling to find the line between authenticity and faith.

I grew up in churches filled with happy, plastic Christians.

They answer “How are you?” with “I’m blessed!”

They don’t admit to being sick even when they are, saying instead that they are “healed in Jesus’ Name!”

And though I can’t judge their hearts, it always seems more fake than faith.

It seems like denial.

And hypocrisy.

The implication is that if things aren’t going well with you, it’s because your faith just isn’t strong enough.

And that’s crap.

But things can get out of balance the other way as well.

Under the banner of authenticity, a lot of people are just plain negative.

They complain. A lot.

They’re always responding to “How are you?” with far too much information. They let it all hang out, even at times when they “shouldn’t”.

And they just chalk it up to being real.

So how do we balance faith and authenticity?

When is it time to be honest about where you’re at and when is it time to speak words of faith?

Talk amongst yourselves.

Comments

72 Responses to “coffee talk: authenticity & faith”
  1. jessica says:

    five years ago i battled with depression and anxiety. it was the most horrible, dark, glumy, empty, hopeless time in my life. i was numb, i felt nothing yet i cried all the time. i had a constant knot in my throat and chest. my mind raced but i had no clear thoughts. it was a battle that i didn’t want to fight but i had to.

    my answer to the question: When is it time to be honest about where you’re at and when is it time to speak words of faith?
    i went to chapel at my husband’s school and i don’t remember why but a lady came over to me and asked how i was doing. on the inside i wanted to scream “help me, please! i need help” but instead i said “i’m fine. thank you.” i was ashamed and untruthful. i needed help!
    finally i got to the point where i had to get real with God and ask for help. i had to get real and ask trusted people to help me, pray with me. i had to get real with myself that i needed help. i had to get real that some Christians do battle depression and anxiety. i know once i got real, my words of faith were real, not formula-ish, but from my heart, from my brokeness, from my honesty, from my cry for help.

    • i am so so thankful for the transparency in your comment. thank you, jess!

      i totally get what you mean about feeling on the inside like you wanted to scream out for help, and then just said “i’m fine”. i’ve done that quite a few times in my life.

      thank you for sharing your heart here. (i can’t wait to hug you again.)

  2. earl says:

    i try real hard to be honest, but hopeful. sadly, it often comes out more on the “honest” side of things.
    but sometimes, i just answer according to how long i have to talk with someone. if i don’t think people will want to hear that i really miss david, and i’ve gotten a lot of blows to the gut lately, and i’m not sleeping well… but i’m doing better than i was last week, thank God!… for those people, i just give a mostly-smile and say i’m doing okay. because i am, in a way, doing okay.

  3. ric booth says:

    I answer the “real/authentic” question being asked of me (not the literal words, but rather the intent of the person). If he/she is just making conversation, I will know and respond with “Fine, thank you.” And I try, very hard, not to repeat “How are you?” unless I really have the time and heart to listen to the real answer.

  4. Honestly, where I’m at … I don’t know where to draw the line, either. I’m usually of the ‘spill my guts’ camp… I’m trying to learn when to say what…..

    That’s hard.

  5. I like what Ric said about the intent of ‘How are you’. Some people ask only to be polite and follow the social norm. Other people ask because they want to know the state of your heart and mind. (I think I need to start practicing Ric’s habit of only asking ‘how are you’ back if I want a heart answer).

    I also agree with Earl. Discernment in choosing who to show the struggles of your heart must always be used.

    I wonder, though, how it would be to answer a ‘how are you’ of the polite intent with ‘You know, this week was pretty rough, but I got through it.’ That is still being authentic, still truthful but not filter-less. It allows the listener to choose how to respond: with follow up questions which could lead to a great discussion or with ‘oh good, glad to hear it’. As I said in a previous comment, realness begets realness. If i take the first, however small, step of being real..who knows what fruit might come of that conversation with a stranger. So, maybe I need to start answering the ‘how are you’, ‘how was your day’, ‘what’s up’ questions with more authenticity…start releasing my realness and my heart-ness. It can be as easy as ‘Today wasn’t as good as yesterday, but I’m praying for a better tomorrow’.

    • mmmm…. i love the perspective you brought to this. being honest and authentic in the answer to “how are you?” but in small, discerning doses. i’mma be thinking today about how i can start doing that…

    • sheryl says:

      exactly!! we can be honest/authentic without overdosing the person who asked with every little detail. i often say “it’s been rough lately, but we’re getting through”.

  6. Jen Griffin says:

    I’m struggling with this one. When I try to be authentic and to be upfront on my life…I get bashed! Just the other day I had a family member write me a huge message telling me to suck it up. Not to put how I’m feeling on FB because I was a bad example to non-believers. She said it seems my circumstances are running my emotions and not my faith. I should be joyful all the time. Also, she says I need to re-read Prov. 31 and try to be more like her.

    Okay…this was hard to swallow. Many times on my blog when I’ve tried to be open, I’ve gotten mean emails. I don’t know anymore. Should I ignore? Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know at this point.

    • Earl says:

      ohhhhh, your relative would have me a hot mess. my fists would be up in defensive position. that’s not okay with me.
      … and as a thoughtful response… ;-) >>> i think that it is unfair for Christians to put up a happy front and call it “witness”. sure, it is great to point out that you do have hope in Christ, and that He walks through tough spots with us, etc. BUT, so many non-believers struggle with the fact that so many Christians seem “fake”… so being purposefully “joyful” isn’t much of a help, in my opinion.

      • Jen Griffin says:

        Thanks!! I am tired of fake people and I don’t ever want to be called one!! I haven’t responded to my relative…I have no idea what to say so, I’m keeping my mouth shut for now!

        • Michelle says:

          Okay. I need to say, I’ve heard this over and over my whole life long. And I’m OLD!!! Please, Jen, take my advice and don’t speak until you’ve got it understood, or else it might spark a fire you can’t contain. It never hurts to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.

          Lots of great advice in this thread. Wish I’d understood this MUCH earlier…

    • i am so sorry for how your heart is being mishandled by those who “should” be holding it gently. i have heard those same reasonings over and over again in my life. that being honest about struggles “doesn’t reflect jesus well”. and i’m so, so tired of that answer.

      i hate that you’ve gotten mean emails and negative pushback when you’ve been open on your blog and on FB. i know that must make you so hesitant to keep putting your heart out there. while you wrestle through the balance of that for those “public” forums, keep risking with your openness and real heart to a few trusted friends. your heart is worth knowing.

      [and i gotta confess -- i've always harbored a secret resentment towards the proverbs 31 woman.]

      • Jen Griffin says:

        Thank you friend. I am struggling with that balance. Even asking others to pray for me on FB status seems to be an issue. I have also been told that I have “sin build-up” in my life or I’d not be facing these trials. I do know my heart and I know that God brings us through many trials to make us stronger. I also know that past mistakes do have consequences..but, I can still be forgiven and face consequences. My heart hurts… Instead of blogging much I’ve kinda kept it in. The one time I did blog I got backlash. I guess maybe I need tougher skin. I know how God sees me and someone I have to talk myself into believing it!

        Thank you friend.

      • Melissa says:

        I’d go with with both what Earl and Alece said. It is a powerful witness to speak of our weakness and pain and mistakes and the love of Christ that covers it all.

        (A mentor of mine said that if men are looking for a Proverbs 31 women they might as well forget it because they would have to be polygamists, cause the woman described there is likely a reflection of a collection of Godly women.)

      • Terri Poss says:

        I think the Prov 31 woman is a composite, not a real person. And there’s no indication that she did ALL those things at the same time! Life has seasons and the demands of each season are different. I think MAYBE you can have it all, but you CANT have it all at the same time. Everything in life is a trade-off. That’s what my mom says, and I believer her!

        And Jen, fake is not a good witness. Ummm, at it’s core it’s lying. So continue to be real and authentic. I agree that a major barrier for unbelievers is the hypocrisy they see in the body of Christ. We’re redeemed and rescued, but we’re certainly not perfect. And living life with Christ may be a bed of roses — full of THORNS. Good grief, Christ WAS perfect, but the circumstances of His life weren’t, They killed Him. I pray that there are people holding your heart gently and protectively and that you will seek comfort in them as well as the Lord. Especially when the people who ought to do that for you don’t seem to be able to. One thing I’ve learned is that the people who attack like that, and expect/demand you to have joy and condemn you for not, are ones who have little experience with real trials, or they are hardened – and lying to themselves and everyone else about the condition of their hearts. Be encouraged. God has not forgotten you. He knows where you are. He knows your name.

    • Debra says:

      Wow, that hurts my heart for you. I am sorry that satan is using people, even people close to you, to keep you from sharing your life and what God is most certainly doing in it, from getting the support and love you need. I am praying for you today for healing and strength and for the Spirit to lead you to sources of strength and encouragement.

      And, FYI, just recently, God revealed to my best friend in her study that the Prov. 31 woman is not who she is because of her, she is who she is because of God living in her! People like to beat themselves and others over the head with this “perfect” woman, but the truth is, without Him, none of us can achieve what she does. That is works. She is perfect because God lives in her and equips her in the areas He has given her to walk in. Isn’t that freeing!

      • Jen Griffin says:

        Thank you Debra! That is definitely a way of seeing P31 in a different light than what women are taught….on Mother’s day.(gotta use that passage on Mother’s day each year you know. )

        Thank you for your prayers. I appreciate it so much more than you know.

        • I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “the joy of the Lord is your strength”… “you should be joyful.” I don’t know of any people who are experiencing a pruning, death to self that feel joyful. My father died last year… it was DEATH… there was no joy… other than to know He was no longer suffering. But yet we think that we are supposed to have this euphoric feeling when we are battling with things that speak to us, hurting us. I’ve found that joy is finding Jesus to be enough in whatever I am facing. If that’s joy, then I can go there. If it’s euphoria.. then I just can’t…

          I think that there is truly a balance with our sharing all that’s going on with us.
          I think we can find ourselves being defined by our suffering or struggles if it’s all we talk about. I’m not speaking about you, I’m speaking generally… BUT I’m still in the place of learning the balance. Who do I share what with? The struggles are a real part of me. I know there was a time when I wanted others to feel sorry for me and my hard times… I shared with a wrong motive… I’m not there any longer. I wrote about where I am on my response below.. I won’t rewrite it here.

          The thing I know is this… God’s the balance of all things. If I seek Him before I expose what’s going on with me then it will be balanced. I want to learn that!

          What I see in the words that you shared in the email was not love but condemnation. I know God would never speak that to you.

          • Jen Griffin says:

            Julie, You are just full of great thoughts here. Thank you! My comfort right now is that..I am forgiven and that God will be glorified through it all. I love your thoughts on balance as well. It’s hard for me to do that online, blogs, emails, etc.

            Thanks for taking the time to minister to me through your words.

            Jen

  7. @ngie
    @
    says:

    Recognizing social cues is a matter of disciplining the mind to respond correctly. Living by faith and being led by the spirit is a discipline of the soul. Both practices are vital.

  8. I think context is key… (i’m not quite sure what that means either)

    and why do people ask how you are if they really don’t want to know?

    • you do know our conversation is what sparked these thoughts, right?

      • oh…i am good for some fodder…

        unfortunately i still have no idea what i think about all this stuff…

        to be artificial or bitter? that is the question ;)

        • gah! i don’t know what i think about it all yet either. but i love the discussion that’s going on here today. hoping by the end of the day it’s added clarity rather than more mud to my thoughts! ha!

        • Terri Poss says:

          Take the risk – go with real. It’s always better than artificial (ex-sacchrine or carob in place of sugar or chocolate) Always a NASTY aftertaste, literally and figuratively! And bitter just eats you up from the inside out. First it attacks you and then spews out onto everyone around you. Choose real – Choose life that you might live!

        • Katy
          @
          says:

          whoa. artificial or bitter. that one hits home. especially when getting to the point of knowing that some people don’t want to hear you’re real, raw version and that’s okay…but it’s being discerning in still being authentic without unloading.

  9. faith says:

    Hey I grew up in that setting too! I think you walk a fine line Alece. And not fine as in your about to fall off to either side but fine as in your walking the walk and setting a fine example. I personal think I have this down too or at least I hope I do. And that’s not trying to sound better than anyone believe me I struggle with this at times and with plenty of other things. But I think you are doing a fine job.

  10. Terri Poss says:

    Everything I was thinking has been said! Social nicities and all that, choosing who to share with…yada yada yada. Sometimes when people say the “I’m blessed” or “healed in Jesus’ name” it’s a staking a claim of faith, sometimes it’s what they wish were true, and sometimes it’s just what they say out of habit that means NOTHING, just like “fine” means nothing. It’s just something to say. We all need people in our lives who ask those questions desiring to know the heart truth. I know that has been healing for me to have those people, but they are few and far between. I hope I am one of those people. I want to be one of those people.

  11. Melissa says:

    Most people can’t tell what is going on beneath the surface, just by looking at us. They ask ‘how are you?” And our instant inventory of our state of being sends waves rolling.

    Our responses do tend to be either shut it down, or spill it all. So what is authentic?

    Cause I know the Truth that God is absolutely good and absolutely sovereign so as earl said, in a way, no matter what the circumstances I am okay. Not beyond His reach. Not beyond His love.

    But then I read where Paul says in Romans 12 to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. And Ecclesiastes says there is a time for weeping. Jesus never asked us to deny reality. He asked us to see and testify to the sufficiency of His grace.

    So I guess where I am is that I want to be authentic and so I want to give permission for others to tell me when things are not okay. That they are wrestling with God. I want to encourage them to continue to wrestle away. I am encouraged by it. That I can take every to my God. And in living in authenticity I want to allow others to speak truth into my life. So if I become negative and start walking as a victim of my circumstances, for my sake, call me out!

  12. oh man…totally know what ur saying…. I was just thinking this the other day when I made a comment on fb, and one of my Christian friends made the most “christian” comment I have ever seen. The thing is that I have many non-believers as friends too, and I just cringed when I saw his comment. It didn’t even sound REAL at all, more like a automated Religious Response.

    Like I said….it made me cringe. Not because I’m embarrased of my faith and beliefs…cuz ALL my friends, believing and non, know where I stand and what I believe. More cuz it was so UNREAL of a thing to say, like in Christianese language. I thought to myself, “why couldn’t you just say the idea to me in regular everyday sentiments.

    You’re right…there needs to be a balance!

  13. Katie says:

    This is something I’ve been mulling over lately. As I’ve dealt with some tough stuff lately, a mentor encouraged me that I DO need to be honest & transparent with my “inner circle” – those closest to me who are already committed to pray for me, speak truth, encourage, etc.

    But I don’t have to feel COMPELLED to spill my guts to every person – even a *fairly* close friend – who asks “How are you?” It’s okay to have a blanket statement. “I’m doing okay, but I’ve been struggling with some thing lately. I’d really appreciate you praying for me,” is an okay response, because rehashing our struggles over and over again can make us feel defeated, which we most certainly are NOT.

    I was also challenged to covenant with some of those closest, “inner circle” friends that I will CALL them when I’m in the midst of a struggle, not just when I’m trying to recover in the aftermath. And I’ve been encouraged to share that “blanket statement” with my small group & prayer ministers at church who can pray. They don’t have to know all the specifics.

  14. Cristina says:

    That’s such a good question. I have no idea what the best balance is. I mostly try to stay away from ‘canned Christian answers’ and answer the ‘how are yous?’ with the real story to my closest friends or when I feel like the situation merits the real answer. I dont think being faithful means you have to be ‘peachy’ all the time.
    It’s difficult to set a limit on these things because I want to remain open and flexible to choose be both authentic and faithful or to remain quiet.
    That’s a lot to chew on, but thanks for the discussion!

  15. I’ve struggled with this too, Alece. In fact I feel like I’m in one of those “redefining” moments of my life. What does it look like to be “real” with people without feeling like you have to tell them the nitty gritty junk that you have been dealing with? I am in a place where I don’t want what’s in my past to be brought into my present. For instance the struggles of last year or even the last month talked about in my day today. I want to be real with my friends yet I don’t want to relive the past…. What’s the balance, I’m asking…

    Sometimes I feel as if I have been defined or known by my struggles. It’s my own fault really… After all it’s what I have chosen to talk about with friends to be open. Yet I’m finding as I move from that place of “keeping no record of wrongs”…. I just don’t want to talk about what happened “yesterday”… or a month ago or whatever. It’s reliving the moment all over again. I so want to live in the moment of where I am right now.

    Can you tell I’ve been contemplating all this?

  16. well as you might imagine this is something I deal with/wrestle with often due to the personality of many christians and mine being rather different. This happened a lot in South Africa too (Ex: if we have a prayer night everything will just be super! me: hopefully, but perhaps (probably?) not…)
    I’m cynical. and Sarcastic. I imagine you know this. I’ve watching entirely too much stand up comedy in my life.
    I make observations and I often state them to people. Certain types of people will then say I;m too negative. Bah! This does grate me a bit. I feel like I am tremendously positive person. Honestly I am almost selfish in desiring to want to be happy, enjoy my life. I’d rather make a joke than get too worked up.
    Honesty is a good thing but it often gets you in trouble. I think the word to consider is discernment. If you discern situations, people and things well you’ll hit the right balance between faith and authenticity.
    In the meantime I’ll keep making fun of stuff that’s funny.

  17. annie says:

    I was just talking to myself about this last night …

    • and what did you say? ;)

      • annie says:

        haha. Well, you know … um, it wasn’t extremely cohesive. But … a mindset that says that everything has to be positive and upbeat is simply wrong. Because everything is NOT always positive and upbeat. I’m learning a lot these days about validating feelings. I certainly didn’t grow up knowing much of anything on that subject. I grew up forcing my feelings down. They were supposed to be repressed, after all. Feelings aren’t valid. Thoughts are. Feelings make a person weak and vulnerable, and subjugate them to ridicule. This is the mentality I grew up with. I’m only just coming to grips with the fallacies in these thoughts, and learning to give my own soul credence.

        Repressing feelings looks like this:
        *When I feel sad, I’m fine.
        *When I feel angry, I’m fine.
        *When I feel injured, I’m fine.
        *When I feel hurt, I’m fine.

        You get the picture.

        Validating feelings looks something like:
        *When I feel sad, I am sad.
        *When I feel hurt, I am hurt.
        *When I feel angry, I am angry.
        *When I feel injured, I am injured.

        The church has by-and-large bought into the first idea. Even if everything is NOT okay … everything is okay.

        We Wear the Mask

        We wear the mask that grins and lies,
        It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
        This debt we pay to human guile;
        With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
        And mouth with myriad subtleties.

        Why should the world be over-wise,
        In counting all our tears and sighs?
        Nay, let them only see us, while
        We wear the mask.

        We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
        To thee from tortured souls arise.
        We sing, but oh the clay is vile
        Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
        But let the world dream otherwise,
        We wear the mask!

        -Paul Lawrence Dunbar

  18. Lisa says:

    So many thoughts…… I wish I could express them as eloquently and as “that’s it right there” as all of you. I cherish when someone sincerely cares about me, and I know it has meant so much to others when I’ve treated them this way. I think we all want to be loved sincerely. To be understood. To know that we’re seen, and that we matter, even though we’re not perfect.

    Bottom line, there’s just too much insincerity and selfishness in the world and the church today. And I guess the question is, how can I change the little bit I can in that? Because ultimately, all I can change is me.

    • Lisa says:

      And you know, Rick and I were at a church recently where there was a lady who very guiltily admitted to us that she was sick. I definitely sensed that this was a place where “keeping up faith appearances” was very important.

      I just can’t believe that what we call the church today has become one of the loneliest places on the planet for so many. Something’s just not right here.

      • Lisa, I couldn’t agree with you more… Church has become a place where we show up, sing a few songs, sit in a chair or pew, hear someone talk about something relevant to living with God, leave and go home… to show up next week and do the same thing all over again.

        Few connect in relationships through their churches

        It’s all rather sad to me.

        • April says:

          I completely agree with this! There are close to 50 members in our sunday school class, on our email list… yet I feel so disconnected. we meet once a week exchange meaningless chat with sweet smiles, all of the women try to look fabulous and compliment each other on outfits. One sunday I was wading through deep dark depression, unbelieveable darkness. I sat in class in the back row and cried the whole time. Noone noticed. I left…

          I don’t know the answer. Is it me? Not taking the initiative to connect? I really don’t know. It is strange. It is confusing. It is sad.

          • April, NO, I don’t think it is you. I was in a small group…. had been in it for a couple of years. There were about 5 couples in the group. We had been meeting weekly. I was going through menopause and struggling with a hormonal depression that was thankfully treated with natural hormones and managed within 2 months.. At the onset I shared openly with the group how much I was struggling and how the doctor was treating me. ONE woman called me ONE time to check on me in those 2 months.

            My father died last February. I got many emails and facebook messages but NO ONE called to check on me after I returned home.. I was left to grieve alone. Yet my church constantly talked about how much of a community we were and how we walked the “journey” together.

            It’s not you… unfortunately we’ve lost sight of relationship in “the church”….
            We’ve replaced face to face with text messaging and the world wide web.
            While I love the connections the web has brought with people all over the world… I also see it has reduced face to face encounters to email to email.

      • i so agree that church has become one of the loneliest places on the planet. we are so far from what Jesus had in mind when He said that the world will know we’re His disciples by our love for one another…

        but i CAN change ME, like you said. i can’t change the “system” or the church. but i CAN change ME.

        • Lisa says:

          I think that for the people that want more out of their relationships in church (or anywhere) – more authenticity and connection, as has been touched on by so many here – church is lonely. But to plenty of people, I think they’re just fine with the play-acting and distance. Or don’t know any better. :(

      • Terri Poss says:

        Church is one of the most judgmental places imaginable! I should know – I’m a preacher’s kid and a pastor’s wife! I’ve experienced my (more than) fair share! I’ve lived through some not so fun seasons in my life – deaths, depression, lonliness, a child’s rebellion – and there have been a precious few people (forget congregations) with whom I was free to share my heart and my hurt for fear of judgment. Oh, what the body of Christ could be if we could simply and honestly admit that we’re all screwed up, damaged, stained, broken, ruined, and helpless to change it and the only difference between us and anyone else in the world is the forgiveness found in the blood of Christ. I admit to having my own battles with being judgmental, but I’m finding them to be more and more fleeting with each “season” I experience and the grace comes more and more quickly. I’m hoping I’ve learned my lessons well for a while, cause those seasons are such painful, lonely places to be, even with heart friends nearby. They do make it more bearable though.

        I’m not a fan of displaying all the dirt in my life for public consumption, but it sure would be refreshing if people would just be honest and admit that no one, not even them, is perfect and give up their “perfect” expectations and their “perfect” disappointment when we don’t measure up.

  19. There is some great stuff in the comments here.

    For me, my approach is to be honest and realistic about the present, but always speak with faith and hope for the future.

    If you read the Psalms you see many of them where the writer is lamenting his current state, but there is always a focus on the goodness of God and a sense of hope that the current is not the permanent.

    But to be totally honest about the present is to acknowledge both the GOOD and the bad, even if the only good you can see is the fact that you’re still breathing.

    • what i wrestle with are those down moments where i struggle to really see or focus on God’s goodness or hold onto any hope. and my brain knows what i “should” say, but it doesn’t feel genuine.

      “even if the only good you can see is the fact that you’re still breathing.” — i need to get better at spotting the good. even when it’s difficult to spot.

      so glad you chimed in, john.

  20. I’ve always struggled with being too authentic. but maybe that’s not the right way to say it… I just tend to tell everyone everything. discernment and I have never walked side-by-side. But I long for that — for having the right words to say, not fumbling over the ones I have, wanting other words to say, knowing how to use my words, knowing when not to use them, having eloquence in my speech. I think I lack all of the above. I don’t know how to respond to your post because it is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Hopefully I’ll learn something from others’ comments too. I have a feeling though that this is something I’ll be working on for a very long time.

  21. Edfromct says:

    In reading your blog Alece I can’t imagine you being anything but authentic.

    I have gone from being a very uncommunicative child, whose favorite word was “no”, to being willing to talk to anyone about anything. As a young man I told a lot of lies, mostly in the singles bars in New York.

    It only took me 50+ years to learn to always be authentic, especially when talking about faith.

    I love to talking to people, anyone, anywhere. I have learned however to let the other person take the lead in deciding how far, and in what direction, to take the dialogue.

  22. Katy
    @
    says:

    Absolutely love the comments–so many good ideas!
    This is something that I am mulling over in my head a lot lately. I started reading Secondhand Jesus by Glenn Packiam and one of the things he brings up in the first few chapters is the whole issue of tragedy and how Christians respond with Christianese type answers. And while I totally agree and completely see that happening…and I do find many of those quick fire responses so….fake…but at the same time I know that they can be voiced with such confidence and standing firm on His word. I just see too many sides of the issue and how each situation is so unique and it goes back to being discerning and listening to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in what to say and when. Back to mulling it over some more….

  23. slamdunk says:

    Thought-provoking post.

    The situation and person certainly varies. Allowing God to work and me to stay out of the way is how I view it–then I don’t have to worry so much about timing since it is God in control.

  24. TheNorEaster says:

    I do not understand the question.

  25. kaylen says:

    I struggle with this. not terribly shocking, but in more than one facet.

    I’m going to clamp my mouth shut so I don’t start ranting, because my ideas and thoughts aren’t even halfway formed quite yet, but the one thing my mind keeps being pulled back to is the fact that when people know who I am, pessimistic struggles included, and then find out that I believe in God, their reaction isn’t to run, but to stick around and see the glue that’s holding my broken bits together. to a person fighting to stand under the weight of a corrupted world, that’s more impressive than an unbroken, perfectly lacquered christian.

    but this is coming from a scared little girl that runs from the people that stick around and want those authentic conversations, so take my words with a proportional grain of salt.

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