If you have not read the first four posts in this series, be sure to read them below:
Ladder of Humility (Part One)
Ladder of Humility (Part Two)
Ladder of Humility (Part Three)
Ladder of Humility (Part Four)
Imagine this scenario: You are sitting in the waiting room of a hospital, looking over a magazine. As you look up, you see a man with a bloody stump where his arm use to be. The medical team rushes out to help him but he acts as if nothing is wrong. The blood is dripping onto the carpet but he hides all signs of pain or worry. He does not want to make others uncomfortable and refuses to seek help because of pride.
Friends, this is a picture of our churches every Sunday morning.
We shroud ourselves in secrecy – even to our own families.
The church is to be a place of radical honesty. A place where people freely confess their sins, weaknesses, and brokenness to one another without fear of judgment. The local church is to be a sanctuary and hospital for sinners.
The fifth step on the Ladder of Humility is, “Radical honesty to others about your weaknesses/faults.” The church is to be counter-cultural. Unfortunately in this area we have been INFECTED by the culture instead of AFFECTING the culture. There needs to be a radical change in our hearts and minds; we must kill our pride and be honest about our shortcomings, sins, and weaknesses with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul describes this in Ephesians 4:15:
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
I see two points that Paul makes in this passage –
- Radical honesty must begin and end with love. Honesty should characterize our churches and lives because we love one another. Part of this love is accepting others despite their faults and shortcomings. We are to accept one another, even when we screw up, because God has accepted us in Christ Jesus when we DEFINITELY did not deserve it.
- Radical honesty will result in spiritual maturity. Many would agree the church in the west is far too shallow. We focus on numbers to the detriment of true spiritual growth. We are content as long the seats are full and the offering is strong each week. Radical honesty challenges our egotistical comfort because it molds us to look more like Jesus.
Remove your mask. I know it will be painful because pride dies hard. Pursue radical honesty in regards to your faults and weaknesses. Extend acceptance to others who are broken.
The Christian life is a journey and the church is to be a hospital where people come to find hope and healing.
You and I do NOT have it all together so let’s quit deceiving ourselves and come to the Great Shepherd with all of our brokenness and sin.
Why do YOU think it is so hard for people to be truly honest with one another? Leave a comment and let me know!