What would life look like if we did something different? Stepped out in faith and obedience without shame?
Lately I’ve been burdened by superficial conversations. Superficial tends to have a negative connotation so when talking to someone about this, I usually say “surfacey.” Surfacey Christianity. Surfacey discussion groups. Quite frankly, the best way to get my goat is to be a surfacey person who doesn’t go there in the safety of intimate conversations or discussion groups.
Why don’t we take the time for meaningful relationships? Why don’t we feel safe asking the difficult questions or answering them? Because I’ve been burdened for so long with this thing of people not going deeper, I’ve realized, they haven’t gone deeper with Jesus.
When we know Jesus, when we have an intimate relationship with Jesus where we’ve poured out our ugly mess at His feet, we tend to find healing in Him. After the healing comes then we find strength and power from Jesus. That ugly mess no longer has a hold on us. The enemy can no longer use that against us to keep us down, feeling bad about ourself, feeling less than, feeling like we aren’t enough.
It’s easier to stay in what’s comfortable. My friend Laura has said in her study Found: Quitting the Game of Hide and Seek, “It’s easier to stay in our comfortable yoga pants than it is to put on a specifically customized dress that may be a bit uncomfortable. When we wear a fancy dress we have to wear fancy shoes that aren’t always as comfortable, too.”
Just like that dress, being a person that will take it deeper has to face the dirty. The mess. The ugly. The painful. Tears will probably be shed. We’ll look weak. It’s easy to say it’s too hard and too time consuming. It’s easy to drown ourselves in other priorities that really aren’t priorities at all. Or priorities we don’t know are our priorities, like the endless scrolling of Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.
They are distractions.
But what they are more so, is a constant spoon feeding of information. We don’t have to think. We don’t have to ingest the information and digest it, deal with it. We’re escaping the reality of our own issues. There is a time and a place to be spoon fed information. But if we want real change and transformation in our lives, we’ve got to do something with that information.
If we aren’t taking God seriously, then we will never change. We’ll keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting change. Won’t happen.
How do we take our surfacey selves into the depths of deeper, more profound relationships?
- Get a foundational understanding of who God is. Who He says we are. And the purpose of our story.
- Take your mess to the feet of Jesus. Write out your prayers, write out in list form your issues you want changed in yourself. Write out questions you have for Him. Get on your knees, praying. Even if you don’t know how. Do it. Talk. He knows your heart before you even speak it anyway, so just do it.
- Get in the Word. You’ll never know God unless you know His living and active Word that He breathed into existence. Refuse to give yourself an out by saying, “Well I go to church.” “I attend bible study every week.” As my friend Jaimeson said, “It’s like a group date vs a one on one date with God.” You don’t get to know God intimately in a big group as you would alone in one on one time.
- Show up. Go to bible studies where there will be table discussions. Give yourself opportunities to practice taking things deeper in the safety of those groups.
- Don’t worry about shame. Just look at Isaiah 61. Read it. It’s short. A comforting reminder. An empowering reminder.
So back to my original question, what would life look like if we stepped out in faith and did something new without shame?