Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No really, How are you?

......I'm Fine.

That answer is almost a joke for one of my friends and I. We both decided to outlaw the answer in our conversations after realizing that often times it was ridiculously dishonest. We decided that "I'm Fine" was just another way of saying "Something wrong and I'm hurting, but I don't want to talk about it."

 I know that "I'm fine" can be a simple truthful answer, but have you ever used it as a way of evasion to the question "How are you?". False fronts and fake smiles are so common in the world today, look around you!  

Christians, how many times on a Sunday morning are you asked "How are you" and you lie about it? How many times have you asked someone else and not really expected any answer other then the general "Good"? I am a pastors kid (PK) and I live in a parsonage at our church (literally at the church). I am quite familiar with false fronts. In my opinion the proper response to "How are you?" was always something along the lines of "Good!" with a big smile plastered on my face. When everyone expects you to be their little ray of sunshine is there any other option? I know all of the right words to say, I know the right prayers to pray. I have enjoyed perfecting my little charade! But it's all wrong isn't it?

In the Church, the Family of God, shouldn't we be real with our brothers and sisters in Christ? Shouldn't we be honest? I sure think so. Now don't get me wrong. I am NOT a fan of walking around wearing your emotions on your sleeve or complaining and throwing a pity party for yourself. That isn't the kind of witness Christ wants and it certainly shows that your heart is in the wrong place. But Jesus can handle a broken spirit. In fact, he welcomes it! Sometimes broken is where He wants us and needs us to be in order to teach us and correct us! And He often uses our Church family and friends to encourage, comfort and pray for us. So what's with all the lies and false fronts? What's with all of the flowery words that mean nothing because Jesus isn't in them? Why do we do this to ourselves?

But maybe your different. You have no problem spilling your guts to your friends and just speaking your mind and feelings. Maybe all of your friends know your problems and are praying for you and trying to encourage you. Everyone knows whats wrong, except for the one that counts. Yes, I'm talking about Jesus. You can have all the appearances of fixing a problem or struggle in your life but because you haven't surrendered to Jesus yet there isn't actually any healing going on.

I like to be fake with Jesus. I like to read my Bible and pretend that there isn't anything wrong with my spiritual walk. But trust me, "I'm Fine" doesn't work with the Creator of the Universe. (I've tried it!)  He knows the intimate thoughts of your heart! It's almost comical how we try to lie to God. It's like Jonah trying to hide in the bottom of the ship to Tarshish. It doesn't work. He knows where you are, He knows what you are going through! You can't hide it from Him, he sees right through your mask! I can almost see Him standing off to the side shaking His head at me saying "Just WHAT do you think you are trying to do?" 

I am guilty of both. I like to be fake with Jesus and real with everyone else. I like to be real with Jesus and fake with everyone else. Either way, "fake" doesn't work!  Your joy comes from Christ alone, and you can't just produce it on demand. It's ok to have a quiet day, it's ok to be a little down. There is a time and a season for that (Ecclesiastes 3) but your heart needs to be safe in the arms of Jesus. Don't ignore His comfort and try to do it on your own! Don't shut out your brothers and sisters in Christ. It's ok to be vulnerable. Aren't we all anyways, whether or not we try to put on a mask?

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 51: 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.


  1. You're my little ray of sunshine in WA (this means I'm perfectly ok with the cloudy days!) ;-)
    You are totally right, we as the Church should be the perfect place for people to come into feeling and showing exactly what we are feeling. How are we to help people unless we show them it's ok to be who they are? God is more than big enough to handle every emotion that we have. We should be willing to listen them! Very well said Joanna. <3

  2. When "I'm fine" isn't really a truthful answer, but you don't want to go through a list of what's wrong, I like the response "better than I deserve!" It's always true, no matter what.