These are the things I am learning about: connecting, redemption, judgement, and freedom.
The Lord has been speaking to me lately about these things. This morning, Christ spoke to me about how afraid we all are to be exposed.
The exposure and the light hurt pride. And when we become Christians, our pride doesn’t automatically go away. The connecting I long for, though, is the type where exposure and light are welcomed because pride and judgement are no longer in the way. How do we get there as Christians? Why does it feel so rare in our Christian communities?
I think that judgment and defensiveness are standing in the way because we don’t know what we have in Christ.
Imagine an intimate conversation where sin is confessed without any trace of defensiveness, hiding, or judgement. Seems foreign, doesn’t it? And part of the reason it does is that we as Christians judge one another in a way that Christ doesn’t. If we were quicker to see the good in one another than the bad, confession to one another would happen a lot more often.
We need to believe truth in our hearts. We need to be filled with the knowledge of the power of the redemption that we have in Christ every day. Otherwise, we are filled with other knowledge and believe lies. We think redemption is about the future and don’t see what we have in Christ today.
If Christ has taken all our faults and sins upon himself on the cross that we might have a new name and identity free from faults (past, present, and future), then having our sin honestly exposed isn’t so scary. The Lord does not judge or condemn us for our sin, and neither should we. Instead, we have freedom to confess sin openly because we believe that sin has no power to condemn us or make us less lovable.
I have had a decent amount of hard conversations with those I love. I have judged unfairly, and I have been judged unfairly. We can want good things when we judge, but we are still judging the other, and judging kills intimacy and connection. The problem with judgement is that it generally takes a stance of superiority. God’s judgement is just because of his perfection and holiness. He is superior to us, but we are not superior to each other.
Exposure is painful because it can be met by human judgment. God’s love and saving grace is the gift that gives us the courage to be exposed anyway. It is what helps us rest in our secure identity in God, even when we are hurt by the judgement of someone we love. We can forgive them and love them still. Their judgement is not our identity. We are completely free from condemnation in Christ Jesus.
I know that these realities are hard to live out and that we have real obstacles to reaching the type of connection the church is meant to know. But I have hope – hope in the power of the resurrection and in the promises of God to reconcile us to one another in powerful and real ways. We don’t have to wait around for these promises. They are ours today in Christ Jesus! We are redeemed, we are loved, and we are secure.
Let us come into the light so that the false agendas we follow may be exposed. Let us forgive one another and see Christ in one another. Let us diligently search for the good in one another before offering exhortation or admonishment.