I saw a church sign not long ago as I was walking a few blocks to lunch for some fine dining at Mickey D’s. It read:
My first thought was that apparently this congregation, or the pastor, figures that when the spiritual struggle is over, you don’t have to get dressed up in your “Sunday best” anymore.
OR, could it mean that the “they” being referred to is the “Enemy?” Meaning that we will know that unbelievers think they’ve disarmed Believers when they show up in casual clothes?
Or does it mean that . . . aw, baloney . . . we all know that the sermon was titled, “When They Think It’s Over,” and it was delivered on Casual Sunday. But you can see how easy it is to get things confused when all you have to go on is words with no vocal, facial or body language signals to let you know exactly what is meant by the words.
How many times do emotions result in misquotes and misunderstandings, intentional or unintentional? What a mess that creates! And still, that wasn’t my first thought. My second question was, “When it’s ‘over,’ does that mean we can finally be ourselves? We no longer have to put on a façade to please everyone else?” WOW! A chance to be ourselves . . . without pretense!
I walked by that sign as I began to question and consider and ponder. Then a block away, I went back to get a picture with my phone. My thought then became, “Why can’t we be ourselves now!??” I believe that’s part of what Jesus was saying when he told us that “the truth will make you free.”
Could it be that, by being ourselves as He made us to be, we would be free . . .
. . . to focus on what God thinks about us more than what others think about us, so we would know that His “right things” will develop in our lives?
. . . not to worry about what others think because we would live as He wants, which is always the best for all concerned?
. . . to know the confidence of facing those who are offended by right living, because their offense is not our doing?
. . . to enjoy fellowship with those who think differently about fulfilling God’s plan in their lives because we could appreciate the different functions of the Body of Christ?
. . . to celebrate being with God’s children, rather than having to go to church to be sure everyone else knows what “good Christians” we are?
. . . to live . . . to worship . . . to be confident . . . to know Life!
So, how does a church experience unity if everyone’s free to be uniquely themselves? Maybe the answer to the question is in the question itself. Encourage each member to experience the unique freedom to be themselves, and celebrate the unity that Jesus provides as he dwells in each of us.
Whatchathink? Can you, a minister, be yourself? Can you, in a leadership place in your church, be yourself?
If you’re called by God to help shepherd His flock and wish to move toward your greater potential, contact me utilizing the “Let Me Hear From You” page at ChurchHarmonyNow.com.