(M. Toerner; Beach Club; February, 2008)
One of the kindest things one Christian can do for those around him or her is to be authentic. Authenticity is the foundation of truth and truth consistently brings freedom.
One of the oldest tricks Satan uses is to influence people to believe they are the only ones who struggle with _____, referring to a specific issue or sin. The classic metaphor that describes this is the lone sheep being separated from the other ninety-nine. When one sheep (or person) is singled out, they are singularly more vulnerable. They are easier prey for predators. Thankfully our good Shepherd will search until He finds us.
Authenticity, sincerity, and truth show others how similar we all are. Every one struggles with jealousy. It is the context of jealousy that differs. Every one struggles with lust or the temptation to lie. Every one is tempted to steal, cheat on taxes, or exceed the speed limit on the interstate. Truly, all of us are tempted to commit the same sins. The Bible verifies this, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
Knowing that all of us miss the mark of perfection (sin), asserts that we are not alone. We have many traveling companions and we all are tempted by the same enemy. I Corinthians 10:13 substantiates this, "No temptation has overtaken you, but such is as common to man, but God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, He will provide a way of escape so that you will be able to endure it (bear up underneath it.)"
Authenticity forces us to reveal our real-self as opposed to our public-self. Authenticity makes us take our "Stepford Christian" masks off and get real about what is going on in our lives, whether it is good or bad. Freely talking about real life struggles reveals the truth that we all struggle with the same kinds of issues. We all commit the same kinds of sin. As we come clean, we show the world we are in this together. We are making the journey through life with true companions.
So, when Satan tells you the lie, "You are the only one who struggles with ____! No one else struggles as you do. No one will understand. If anyone really knew all of these secret things about you, they would not like you at all. They would know that you are worthless and shameful," don't believe a word he says. He is a consummate liar, thief, deceiver, and seducer. He wants to keep you down and despondent. God wants you to know you are not alone.
Murphy Geer Toerner
- Murphy's Devotions
- Austin TX and Baton Rouge, LA, United States
- I enjoy helping people. I am an encourager and I can see the good in others. I want people to understand what it means to be an authentic Christian and not just a religious "nut." I believe if Christians lived and loved others as Jesus lived and loved others, we would experience more of heaven on earth than hell on earth. These thoughts and writings are intended to encourage you to be who God originally designed you to be. They are also intended to challenge you and make you think. Also, I want you to know that I'm praying for you every day. Blessings, Murphy Blessings to you, Murphy