Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fearing Closeness, or the Barriers that Divide

Barriers are necessary in life.
It is crucial to create barriers between ourselves and the things that cause us to become distracted, the things that cause us to stumble, and the things that might hinder us from loving well.

Yet, barriers have become commonplace in our society. 
These walls protect us.
They keep our image intact.
They perpetuate the lie that we not only tell the world, but ourselves.
We hide behind them, unwilling to know and be known.

These barriers prevent us from having to be real, from having to be vulnerable. 
Vulnerability is crucial for bonding to occur. For us to be able to relate to other people, then it is necessary for us to be human as well, is it not?

Despite this, we still hide behind our iPhones and Facebook accounts, pretending that our worlds are intact. 
In the moment it may seem best. "Don't be known as a complainer!" people might say. 

This may seem logical, yet it alienates the people who struggle even further. Rather than extending arms to the other people around us who bear burdens, it forces us each into isolation with our own pains - essentially sentencing us into imprisonment with our own chains.

Do we not realize that part of the key to freedom lies in community?

We will never be able to be free if we are fed the lie that "I am the only one with this struggle." 
The amount of depression and self-defeat is staggering. You feel that you are an anomaly, that you are the most wicked of souls.

Why would we ever subject another person to such pain? The pride that maintains our own image and our own ego not only keeps us from being free ourselves, but it hurts those closest to us by lying to them about their own struggles.

Brothers and sisters! The ground is level at the foot of the cross!
Can we not be open with each other for once? Will it KILL you to admit that you have problems too? Let us be a BLESSING to one another! (see my post on this

Besides this, Christ within grants the strength and grace to be able to accomplish this. It is our privelege and PURPOSE as believers to comfort and bear burdens. Galatians says that we are to "Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." 
But we are also told that Christ "comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Corinthians 1:4) 

The whole PURPOSE to our pain is to minister to others! Yes, we will be refined as well, but since when is the Christian's life about himself? Just as Christ did not come to be served but to serve, our mission as well is each other.

Some of the deepest pain lies in isolation, yet some of the purest joy lies in freedom!
Why are we so afraid of ourselves? So afraid of what people think, what people will say, what they will do... Let us instead start a movement of grace and mercy. Show each other what true love in Christ looks like. 

1 John 4:18 is a sobering reminder of this:
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

What do we have to be afraid of? 
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

I am burdened and overwhelmed with passion on this issue. I want to see my brothers and sisters encouraged, to learn how to open up and be vulnerable.
I truly believe that when this happens, we will see a great spiritual awakening that has not been seen in decades. 

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