That beautiful facade. It’s got to go.
When did we adopt her anyway? When did we decide that if we were to be the light of the world, if we were to bring God’s love and grace to those around us, that we needed to have a near-perfect life, or at least look like we did?
When did we start ‘selling’ Christianity as the solution to all of life’s problems? When did evangelism become about showing others how great our lives were – in the hope they’d buy the facade and give God the credit?
That beautiful facade? The one we’ve worked on for years – decades even? It’s got to go.
Jesus didn’t come down from Heaven and into our mess – He didn’t come and heal us and save us so that we could put up a facade and pretend that we had it all together.
Jesus Himself didn’t sell Christianity as the solution to all our problems – quite the opposite. He said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33NLT).”
Because here’s the thing. God is good. Full stop. He isn’t good because He saved a marriage. He isn’t good because He healed a loved one. He isn’t good because He answered our prayer with a yes. God is good because that is His fibre. He’s GOOD. Just like an orange is orange, God is good.
This life? It’s pretty messy sometimes. And sometimes we find ourselves in places we’ve never wanted to be. And God is good.
When I share my stories here, it isn’t to show how wonderful and sorted my life is. Because it’s not. I share the stories to show that life is messy, we’re all doing our best and God is good.
Do I want to have a wonderful marriage? Yep. Do I have one? Not yet. Is God good? He’s very good.
Have I experienced disappointment and heartbreak and do I battle everyday to find healing and ways to process my way through this season? Absolutely. And God is so good.
Am I in a season where each day is tough? Where every small and minutae decision is important and each thought needs to be handled carefully and wisely? Unfortunately, yes. And God is unbelievably good.
So when you read the stories here at @wordsbyjoni, please don’t try and envisage a happily ended story behind shiny social pics. Don’t try to follow the route taken by whoever’s tale is being shared. Don’t wonder about how it must feel to live such a perfect life. This is your story that you’re writing. You may be in the sucky, get-me-out-of-here part but it’s a story, and as much as a story line dips, it finds its balancing crescendo. Your journey is unique and precious. And God is good.
Stories are shared here to help heal, bring encouragement and engender empathy. Testimonies were some of the earliest methods of bringing people to know that God loved them. Let’s continue along with this message: Life is tough, God is good.
I believe it’s important that we are equipped and empowered to share our stories – the different journeys and paths we’ve travelled – in a bid to bring comfort, peace and Jesus to those around us.
To this end, I’m in the process of creating a tool which simplifies the whole thing. Whether you know what your story is, or you have an idea of what it may be or you have no idea if you have anything to share at all – or if you’re unsure of whether you should share some parts of your story at all – this tool will help you carve it out in your mind and on paper, so that when the time comes and you have an opportunity, you too can share your story, by ripping down that facade and saying yep, me too. Life is tough, God is good.
The resource will be available to email subscribers only so if you’re keen, click along and subscribe.
Let’s do this thing together – facade-free and loving it.