Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Life Isn't Perfect Yet - Rose McCormick Brandon

I discussed the subject of depression in a recent interview with the leader of a major U.S. denomination. He stressed the importance of Christians "creating a culture of honesty." I'd visited an elderly aunt in a nursing home a few days before. I thought of how this man's words applied to the loneliness she's feeling. Her once active life came to a sudden stop when she broke a hip and could no longer live in her home.

Everyone experiences loneliness at some point in life. In many Christian circles, this isn’t a popular thought. Christians tend to believe that after we dedicate our lives to Christ, we'll never experience loneliness.

When Christians do suffer from loneliness, or struggle with other negative emotions, we assume something must be amiss in our relationship with God. This myth is perpetuated by a teaching that goes something like this – give your life totally to Christ and you’ll have it altogether all the time.

This is where denial comes in. No one has it altogether all the time.

Devotional writer, Selwyn Hughes made this observation. “Sadly, churches tend to reward those who can create the illusion of having it all together by holding them up as examples of what a Christian should be, while actually, in some cases, such people may be less spiritual than those whose integrity compels them not to deny their struggles.”

Perpetuating the myth that life can be perfect for Christians on earth causes many to give up following Jesus because they conclude they simply aren’t “good at it."

God does perform miracles for people. He does transform lives. In some cases, loneliness is erased. But for most believers, some issues remain unresolved. Loneliness may be one of these. It’s okay for Christians to struggle, to feel pain, and even to make mistakes. Imperfect people live imperfect lives.

In this life, we may not pin the Perfect Christian Award on our shirts but we can pin this on – God’s grace is big enough to cover our imperfections.

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (The Message)


Peter Black said...

Rose, thank you for this clear and encouraging message. Certainly, over the years I've become aware that loneliness is a big factor in many lives -- including some who are solid Christian believers.
I love your concluding with the sufficiency of grace.
Our Heavenly Father "knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust," and are sometimes in need of "flesh and blood" companionship as well as the spiritual, eh!

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Peter - yes, God designed us for flesh and blood companionship (Eve for Adam). Loneliness is such a basic human emotion. No one gets through life without experiencing it . . .

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