On Getting Real

Over the past few months, we’ve heard some great testimonies on Sunday mornings as part of our summer series “As for Me and My House.” The stories have been as varied as the “diverse community of believers” that make up The Church at Shelby Crossings, but one thing that has stood out: our God is real, and He is faithful.

Likewise, the people who have shared the stories have themselves been real. No pretense. No posing. No hypocrisy. Just real faith, in a real God, in real life. But the truth is, you don’t have to be on a stage on a Sunday morning to “get real.”
Get real is a common expression of our generation. We don’t have to define it; we know well what it means. But sometimes getting real means getting “messy.” Life is hard, and when we take the step to take off our masks and cut through the surface-level layers of image-protection–and truly live in the abounding grace of our God–it makes us vulnerable and scares us to death. But it’s worth the risk, I promise.
We must always resist the temptation to cover things over and act like everything’s fine when it’s not. We are imperfect people, in process, seeking to “get real” with ourselves, with one another, and most importantly, with God.
We in the church can be sure of one thing: the world is checking us out, not expecting that we would be perfect, but seeing if we are real. There is no greater turn-off to an unchurched world than artificial, hypocritical people, especially in church. They want to see substance, sincerity, authenticity. And often, they judge by our level of authenticity, how real they think our God is.
So, instead of acting like we’ve got it together, maybe we would all do well to work together to get it together, together. That’s what the body of Christ is all about–living under God’s grace and sharing in community with other imperfect people like ourselves, seeking to become all that He has called us to be. And that starts with getting real with Him…warts and all.
My prayer for each of us is that we’ll experience the real-life joy of a real relationship with a very real God, even in the midst of all the real struggles and sin and pain that we all face each week. God knows where we are, and He sees beyond our masks, and desires to meet us where we are and “get real” with us today.
May His sufficient grace be poured out in your life this week.
–Pastor Ken