Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Filtered Church

Often our actions do not reflect our heart, and I do not mean that we do sinful things when we wish to do good, I mean that we do only good when our hearts are desperately wicked. I am so talented at putting on a fa├žade of well-doing. I can talk the way I ought to, I can do what I should, but is it really a reflection of who I am on the inside? Yes, and no.

It is a partial reflection. It shows me the way I wish I was, but it does not show the real me. I am convinced that we all possess some form of internal filter that operates between our hearts and our actions and words. On the heart side of the filter is the real person, but they only allow perfection to filter through to the other side. The world sees a partial reflection, a filtered reflection, of who they really are. I do it, we all do it, but why do we do it?

What is it that keeps us from exposing the imperfect places of our hearts to the world? Why is it so difficult for us to open ourselves up and say, "Look, I have problems, just like everybody else, but God is still gracious."? Is is fear, insecurity, disillusionment? It could be one of a million different things, but the filter we have all built into the gap between who we are and who we want to be needs to be eradicated, destroyed, and removed.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. -James 5:16
God's Word describes a Body of Christ where no member possesses a built in filter. Each person is willing to make mistakes, and to ask for prayer when they are struggling. The Body of Christ ought to be a safe place, where we do not have to fear judgement or ridicule, but can be assured that we will be encouraged and held accountable. Still, it's hard to remove that filter. It's like cutting off your right arm. Why is it still so hard?

If we remove our filter, we will be the only members without one, therefore eradicating our protection. We'll be vulnerable, open to attack, standing alone before a firing squad. Yes, the risk is there, but removing that filter, and being vulnerable is the best and surest way to earn the trust of others. When we are open and candid with someone, they will soon feel comfortable enough to be the same way with us.

The Body of Christ is currently filled with filtered members, but when we remove our filter we drop a pebble in a still pond and cause a ripple effect throughout our local body. Now there is only one question that remains. Is it worth it? Is the vulnerability we will have to suffer worth seeing the body of Christ grow closer to fitting our Lord's description of it?

My answer is yes. It is my prayer that my life, my words, my actions, and even this blog, will not be filtered, but will be a true and honest reflection of who I am, not of who I hope to one day be. If I fail in that goal, or forget that I ever made such a statement, please do not hesitate to remind me. Filters are not worth a cold and impersonal relationship with the rest of the Body of Christ; filters be banished, Christ's Body live on!

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