Being a Christian is tough isn’t it? By the way, it is okay for you to admit it!
Everyone feels it; everyone, though to a different extent, struggles. Those struggles may come because of the hardships in life, because of questions that we have or maybe you’re struggling because it’s tough living for God in a world that hates God.
Maybe you’re thinking ‘Wow! He’s really struggling to come up with content this week.’ But I think that many Christians struggle without actually verbalising it to other believers. The temptation is to walk into church on a Sunday morning, or to go to small group on a Wednesday night, and present for a few hours that you’re absolutely fine. But the minute you exit through the door and get back into your car the mask comes off and you’re discouraged, hurt, wrestling and struggling.
Why do we feel the need to pretend that we are all ok?
The reality is that our churches are full of people who are all thinking that they’re the only ones struggling whilst everyone else is doing just fine. What we need to do instead is get over ourselves and start being vulnerable with our brothers and sisters in Christ!
Some of the best times I’ve had with people over the years is when they are brutally honest about how they are getting on. People want to be real, people want to talk about their struggles and if we’re honest that includes us. So why hide behind a fake mask?
I think that it largely comes down to our misconception that we must be ‘good Christians’. We so easily believe the lies that there can’t be anything wrong with us, or we can’t struggle with sin, or we must look the part; that we must say and do the right things. It is so easy for people to base their identity on how they are seen by others in church that they forget that their identity is in Christ!
Please take off your mask, be vulnerable with others and let them be vulnerable with you. Take of your mask and, in a wise way, be honest about your struggles because you’ll help the other person take off their mask too. Take off your mask and remember that your identity is in Christ, not in what others think of you!
With this whole topic of Christian identity and who Christians should be I thought I’d recommend a helpful book which touches on that very issue.
His Treasured Possession by Lynette Clark
This book is full of Scripture and it is full of great quotes and insights from saints of old who continue to teach us today with their wisdom. Lynette has written this book which is a huge encouragement to mature in the faith, to be rooted in Christ and to know who you are in Him.
Being a disciple in this world can be hard, distractions are all around but our focus must always be on Christ and our goal must always be to glorify Him. To that end, this book will challenge you on godliness, obedience, your understanding of God and His grace and it will help you marvel at the wonder of the gospel message.
Originally this book was a series of addresses that Lynette gave at different conferences to ministers’ wives. Therefore, some of the examples and illustrations are geared more towards women, but I found it to be a very helpful book! This book will spur you on in your pursuit of living a godly life but thankfully we are not alone in this but the Holy Spirit is with us giving us strength and transforming us more into the image of Christ everyday. At the end of each chapter Lynette has put in ‘food for thought’ questions that are really helpful to develop your thinking on the topic in the chapter and to think through its implication and application for your life.
Lynette Clark trained as a teacher and also obtained a London University qualification in religious studies.
She has been a minister’s wife for over thirty-six years, supporting her husband Stephen and also speaking at ladies’ meetings and conferences.
They have three children and six grandchildren, all living a plane ride away! She is the author of Far Above Rubies: The Life of Bethan Lloyd-Jones, a profile of the wife of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones.