Do you ever feel reluctant to come to church because you know that people will cheerily ask “how are you?”, but you don’t want to have to answer them because you’re really feeling terrible… And you know you’ll feel compelled to put on an equally cheery “Christian smile”, and say, “I’m really fine, thanks!”?
This reluctance, and tendency to ‘fake it’ and to pretend that we are victorious Christians when we are really weak and failing ones, comes from not understanding the Christian Gospel at all.
The Gospel is that you are weak. And that you only live off the power of Christ that He gives to you moment by moment by grace (2Cor 12:9). Sometimes we are really aware that we are weak, and other times we can feel quite strong. It doesn’t matter how we feel, we are always in exactly the same position – i.e., weak, through and through, and the only thing that makes us Christian is the power and grace of Christ holding, carrying, keeping and filling us.
This is why Paul could say, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses” – no ‘faking it’ there!
So, next time you are feeling terrible, and someone asks you “how are you?” Say, “I’m really terrible, thanks!…. but Jesus’ power and grace keeps me fine!”
Grace and cheers, Jonathan.