Who knows you? I mean, really knows you? It’s easy for people to be acquaintances. It takes intention and resolve to be known on a heart level. Do we need that?
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” – 2 Timothy 2:22
The term #nofilter refers to photos posted on social media apps like Instagram that have no edits, or filters, applied to them that would otherwise make them look better. The term is usually meant to indicate that because the picture is so impressive in its original form, no filter is necessary. However, have you ever wondered if this term was applied to our lives?
Plugging into a local church is a Biblical calling on our lives, and crucial for so many reasons. But there’s one aspect of Christian community increasingly devoid in today’s culture: being fully known by each other in the pursuit of Jesus.
I would guess that on some level, we all are careful to keep hidden the struggles, the weaknesses, and the vices that plague us. And in our culture of retweets, tags, and likes, we might be more influenced by the pursuit of exterior perfection than ever before. Sadly, we have no hope of genuinely pursuing a deeper walk with Jesus if we’re constantly shrouding who we really are.
Here’s what we all need:
- Godly people to do life with. Not shallow relationships, but men and women who fully know us, stains and all. But in the Christian church, God intended for us to be committed to building each other up, not to one-up the other with our performance. The Gospel outs all of us as failures… “all have sinned,” so one died for all. There is no need to compare or validate, only encourage and press on.
- I plug into a small group through my church; we meet weekly, but spend time together even more frequently. I intentionally involve myself with these people on a frequent basis – not just because I like them (and I do), but also because it’s only then they can see the real me – after all, I can’t keep my guard up forever! On many occasions we’ve all graciously spoken both encouragement and rebuke, and we’re better for it, and committed to each other.
In a culture where we play with all kinds of angles and edits to get that latest Instagram post just right, where we can literally buy Twitter followers, we need people who know the real us, scary as it is! And together, may we pursue Jesus in our local churches with a pure and genuine heart.
Think for a few moments about the relationships you have. Who are the people you hang with that you are completely yourself around? How do they help you and encourage you? Talk about these friends with your parents.