For many years, I have had a plan for my retirement. My dream is to retire and play the organ for a major league ballpark. Or even a minor league! There’s just something special about being at a baseball game – the cheers of the crowd, the crack of the bat, the smell of the hot dogs, the slow pace of the game, etc. I am a fan!
I was reading an article recently about a well-known baseball player who was planning to return to his former team. This guy is an incredible player but has gotten himself in trouble, again, with his addiction. On his own, he recently took steps to once again battle his addiction. When asked about returning to his former team, he made it very clear that he was an addict and always would be. However, he explained how he had an accountability team already in place that would help him through this process – guys that would walk by his side on a daily basis to encourage him to stay clean.
As I read this article, my mind immediately went to the church. Isn’t this how church should be? Shouldn’t we be honest about our daily struggles? Shouldn’t we be there to rally around one another for encouragement and support? Shouldn’t we hold one another accountable to live the life Christ has called us to live?
But how often is it the opposite? As we get dressed for church each week, we reach for our well-worn mask and put it on. We feel as if we need to act as if we “have it all together.” We don’t want people to know what’s REALLY going on. We certainly don’t want anyone to know we are struggling.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never “had it all together”. And I never will. I am broken. I am a mess. I get angry. I let people down. I procrastinate. My faith is weak. My priorities get out of whack. On most days my house looks very “lived in”, my cooking lacks something to be desired and my To Do list is never finished.
What if we could just drop our masks and be real with one another?
Scripture reminds us to “…live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8
One place to start is with prayer. Not only praying for those who are on the prayer list at church, but really praying for one another and the daily struggles we face. I have discovered one of the most powerful questions you can ask someone is “How can I pray for you this week?” Usually when asked that question, a person will give a REAL answer. They will let you know what they are struggling with. Maybe they are struggling in their marriage. Or making their quiet time a priority. Or knowing how to handle a certain situation with their kids. Haven’t we all been there?
I challenge you this week to ask one friend that question and seriously begin to pray for them.
Just as the baseball player was very open and honest about his addiction, let’s be open and honest with one another. Let’s keep it real. Let’s rally around one another and encourage and support one another. Let’s begin on our knees.