This week we talk about fellowship.
We also honor #pastorappreciation with #pastornotourpastor Bishop Cynthia Harvey @bishop_la
Weakness. It seems like “weakness” has become a dirty word. I don’t know, maybe it’s always been that way, maybe it’s human nature to not allow anyone to see that we have weaknesses, that we are not perfect.
Perfection. What is perfection? As a Christian I have been taught that we must always strive for perfection, to live our lives in a way that is “Christ like.” If we are to live as Christ lived, then we must work towards perfection, for Christ was perfection embodied. But guys, Christ showed weakness. He doubted, he struggled, he had moments of anger and deep sorrow. He didn’t hide these moments of weakness from the world, from his closest friends, they are instead, well documented, and guess what? He’s still perfect.
Why then, do we attempt to hide our weaknesses from the world? Why do we try to hide our weaknesses from ourselves? Only when we truly admit to ourselves that we are not perfect, that we struggle, that we need help, that we aren’t always who we know we should be, can we really grow, grow towards true perfection.
It’s easy to put on a strong face for a couple of hours, those moments we need to be the super version of ourselves. It’s easy to sit behind a computer and write, hitting that delete button when that version of ourselves that we don’t want others to see makes an appearance. It’s easy to hide ourselves away when we are feeling weak so that no one has to see that part of us. It’s easy, but is it right?
Maybe I’m in the minority but I long for transparent and authentic relationships. I need to be around people who have weaknesses and who we can journey together, through the valleys and the mountaintops. I need people in my life who understand weakness and who are willing to share those moments with me so that I can overcome my own. Who doesn’t need people like that?
Christ is and has always been transparent and authentic. He also knows our weaknesses and desires to walk beside us as we struggle. If we aren’t being honest with ourselves as to where and when we need help, are we allowing God to work through us and heal us at the same time?
Love yourself, warts and all. Don’t hide away when your soul is crying out for help, crying out in despair. Don’t keep that part of yourself from everyone else. Who knows, God could use those moments of yourself, those moments you hate and hide away, those pieces of you that seem weak, to change another’s life.
God is amazing. His people are amazing. We are capable of so much, but only if we are honest with who we are. Only in that honesty can our true potential be realized.
I heard a quote recently and I’ll try to get it right here: “Who we are is God’s gift to us. Who we become is our gift to God.”
Who are you going to become? And how are you going to get there?
Mikel is the mom of three beautiful children and wife to our very own Bearded Theologian and aspiring bench warmer for the Colorado Rockies. In her spare time she fights crime a seeks justice under the mantle of Wonder Woman. She loves to spend time hiking with her family, reading, coffee, and of course Texas Rangers baseball… Her passion is creating space for people to gather, right where they are in life, too be raw and real with one another and with Jesus.
This week we talk about is God still creating today? We also honor #pastorappreciation with #pastornotourpastor @RudyVRasmus
I am sure you were as stunned as I was when you finally popped open your computer this weekend after prying yourself away from the comfort of your cozy bed. Instead of seeing another ad for a pumpkin spiced something or other, headlines about what Trump said 11 years ago filled your screen. That’s right, he said another icky thing about women and it was just splashed all over every cotton-pickin social media site known to man.
Lovely. Truly lovely.
Hearing it and reading it made me angry, like red, hot angry. My face turned all the shades of red visible to the human eye, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it made me so angry.
Oh wait, yes I could.
I know why it made me angry, and I know why it made thousands of other women angry, too. It made me angry, because a young man did the very same thing to me when I was 14 that Trump was bragging about in this tape fiasco. He, too, thought he had every right to put his hands on me, not because he was a celebrity though. No, silly Trump. Men don’t need such a luxury to force themselves on you. They only need to believe two things. (1) They can do whatever they want to women or girls. (2) Nothing is going to happen to them, if they choose to put their hands on women or girls without consent. But here is the real rub and it doesn’t have anything to do with Trump really…
My people were on his side.
Conservative, evangelical Christians, particularly men, were giving him a pass, because this was just “locker room” talk after all. It wasn’t a big deal. They could not condone his language, heavens no, but most of them were still able to shrug it off. “What about forgiveness?” they said. “What would people hear you say, if you were taped like a celebrity?” they demanded. Many of these same men were also antagonistic towards women who could not let it go. Then a despicable meme started circulating that said, “If American women are outraged by Trump’s naughty words, then who the (fill in any foul-mouthed word you like) bought 80 million copies of 50 Shades of Grey?”
My people were circulating this as well.
Dear brothers in Christ, many of the women who cannot look past these words cannot do so because they are not just words to us. They are memories. They are memories we never wanted; memories we can’t return. They live with us every day. When you dismiss this as merely a “boys will be boys” moment that is inconsequential, you dismiss the women around you with these experiences. You invalidate what has happened to us without our consent as if these travesties are to be expected and we should just embrace them as normal. When you share memes like the one floating among my Facebook friends, you imply we like being sexually assaulted, because a popular novel falsely suggested rape and domestic violence are synonymous with love.
Brothers, we are equal, image bearers of God with you. We are co-heirs of the Kingdom, beloved children of God just like you. This has nothing to do with your vote or your party. The message you are sending when you defend or sweep hellacious comments like these under the rug is that sexual assault is not a concern. Yet, 1 in 4 girls in the US are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18, and nearly 1 out of every 5 women in the US has been raped. These women and girls are all around you. We hear your words. We read your comments. We see your flippant disregard for our well being and you want to know what we are really thinking? We are not thinking about how you will vote in November. We don’t care.
We are thinking that your attitudes towards his remarks are an indication of what you are teaching your sons. We are worried that you are teaching your sons sexual assault can be shrugged off as inconsequential, because it is only “locker room” talk and women like it anyway.
We are worried that the heinous statistics which have shaped our lives will also shape the lives of our daughters under the very watch of a church that claims to be praying for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.
My name is Leia, which should tell you that my dad’s favorite movie is Star Wars and I have some very unfortunate nicknames. I studied International Relations in undergrad and couldn’t find a job to save my life, so I changed my plans and studied communications in graduate school. Now, I have served The United Methodist Church for nearly 7 years in fundraising, discipleship, and communications.
This week we talk about the importance of Christian Education. We also lift up #pastorappreciation by honoring #pastornotourpastor @RevAdamHamilton