It’s OK if everything isn’t OK in your life, but it’s not OK to deny it. If we are honest with other believers about our struggles, we can find the prayerful support we desperately need.
There’s a question often asked in churches that is casually lied about all the time.
When someone asks, “How are you doing?” our responses are typically bogus. Instead of habitually responding, “I’m fine,” we would admit that life is challenging if we were honest.
We need help (Ps. 34:15). We came in with more troubles than we care to admit (Ps. 34:17). And sometimes, we gather with the church, and we are crushed in spirit (Ps. 34:18).
If the psalmist could admit it, we should be able to do so as well!
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help.
16 The face of the Lord is set against those who do what is evil, to remove all memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.Psalm 34:15-18
Why do we resist being honest? We’ve been programmed to be guarded because we can’t trust others, or we try to act positive because we believe that’s what genuine Christians should be. There should be no safer place to admit that you aren’t doing well other than gathered among God’s people.
The church should foster an environment where it’s OK not to be OK.
When we admit we need help, we receive encouragement from others, provide commonality with other suffering individuals, and provoke prayer among a church family.
When righteous people cry out, the LORD hears and rescues them from all their troubles (Ps. 34:17). Through the gospel, we have received the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21), which means that if you are a Christian, you are righteous. God hears your prayers and is eager to come to your aid!
Don’t pridefully lie about how good you are doing among God’s people. Be honest, and then watch the church surround you and pray on your behalf.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.