“How are you?” “Great, how are you?” “Yea, I’m good, too.” Every Sunday morning, interchanges like this are spoken a zillion (indescribably large number) times. Unfortunately, a lot of times, things aren’t “great, good, or fine.” I’ve spoken to many people who told me they were afraid to talk to anyone at church for several years as a problem escalated until the details couldn’t be hidden anymore. Unfortunately, problems only get worse when unattended. It’s amazing to me how often we hide the truth from each other, especially since the people we’re hiding from might be able to pray, listen, guide, or connect us to services or care to help our situation. So many times, someone has opened up to me in church, not knowing I am a psychiatrist, and I was able to care for or connect them to care for their troubled situation. Other times someone else in the church that they opened up to, referred them to me. Embarrassment, shame, pride, fear…that’s what Satan uses to keep the body from uniting and working together. Don’t let this happen to you. We weren’t made to handle and accomplish everything on our own…we were made to work on teams…marriage, family, employers, church, community, extended family, etc.
Today, think about how you will respond tomorrow (and every Sunday/day in church). If you are the one asking “how are you?” then really be an attentive listener to allow the person a place to be open. If you are the recipient of the question, maybe something like, “well, the week has been a little tough, can I vent a little to you, or can you direct me to someone who can listen and help?”
If you are in a church that will not be compassionate toward your issue and will judge and avoid you, get out of that church to one that will care for you. If what you are doing is wrong, don’t look for the church to condone it, but they should be able to love, care for, and support you to help you make better choices. Click here to share your experiences and perspective with other readers on this issue of transparency at Church.
Dear Father, thank you so much for your unconditional love and forgiveness for all my problems and actions. Please help me speak up and share my burden with others and open my ears to the guidance and wisdom you provide through your humble and wise servants. Help me discern good counsel and follow it. I want connection and help, but I choke at the opportunity to speak up. Encourage me thru Your Spirit to not be ashamed or afraid to expose and ask for help. I pray in Christ’s all revealing name and work, and all God’s people said, AMEN!
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,
so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.