While speaking with a woman today, I told her I crave courageous conversations. The kind where we show up and are real. Where we share who we really are upfront, rather than saying things to cover up our pain, past, and current struggles.
Let’s face it, we all have something we’re dealing with that we wish we weren’t.
I can’t stand pretense. I disdain phony and fake. I choose to show up and be who I am, where I am, each day.
Yes, I know most can’t handle that kind of truth, and frankly, I’m told old to care.
I can already sense some of you getting ready to delete this message. Go ahead. If you can’t stand truth, you’ll dislike me and you won’t appreciate this message.
However, for those of you who, like me, are tired of listening to people pretend and often just lie, then I invite you to read on.
You see the reason I hate, dare I say that word, phony conversations where people pretend their life is great, or problem-free, is I used to be that person. And frankly, it’s boring.
Now, I’m not suggesting the moment you meet someone you dump all your dirty laundry in the center of the room; however, I am suggesting you show up and be real. Admit you have struggles.
The truth is life is challenging.
The place that this pretense bothers me the most is in church. I see it all the time.
I hear the painful stories and help dry the tears.
And yet, time and again I hear regular church goers say, “I can’t be real in my church. I’m afraid of what people will say or think of me.”
My response is always the same, “Why do you care? If you can’t be open and honest in your church, that’s a real problem.”
Truth be told, every person, in every seat, of every church, is either going through a struggle, coming out of a struggle, or getting ready to head into one.
So why don’t we have these courageous conversations? Why don’t more people share their pain and struggles?
If the people who come through my front door are any indication of the pain that’s sitting in the seats each week at church, then it’s real, and we have a problem. And, in some cases it’s downright ugly–the pain that is–not the people.
Just this year alone, I’ve had several women share their husband is gay, their children are addicted to drugs, their siblings can’t stand being in each other’s company, and their families are ripped apart because of infidelity, an addiction to pornography, and a host of other issues. And yet, when I ask these same people, “Have you told anyone in your small group, a family member or a trusted friend?” Most just cry, as they hang their head and whisper a faint, “No.”
It’s time we have COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS!
It’s time we talk about the pain and not simply toss someone a scripture verse to meditate on.
Yes, I said it. I’m tired of hearing people tell me again and again that they’ve sought help in the church, only to be handed a scripture verse to memorize.
Yes, scripture is wonderful AND if that’s all you’re handing someone with a promise to pray for them, then I think we are FAILING people. Yes, I said FAILING them.
People need more than the promise of a verse and a prayer to bring about the needed change.
They need someone who is willing to have the courageous conversation. Someone who’s willing to get in the mud with them and yes, get dirty.
Are you willing to have a courageous conversation?