Sometimes our response to a variety of messes, what we consider as encouragement, might actually discourage people. And by “we” and “our,” I mean Christians.
I get it. We trust God. We look to him for guidance, provision, accountability, and peace, and we want others to do the same. But other messages get mixed into our faith, and even if it’s not our intention, we send confusing messages. But perhaps it’s because we’re confused at times, too.
Where do my responsibilities and God’s mercy and grace meet?
When does God want me to stand firm and fight, and when does he want me to leave something behind and move on?
How do justice and forgiveness work togeher?
When is it time to generously serve, and when is it time to retreat and trust him to fill and prepare me?
If I trust he’s forgiven me, why am I still struggling?
Why did he make me this way?
Will this ever get easier? Other people make this faith thing look simpler, better…or are they being fake?
Questions, confusion, doubt. We all have them. We can’t fully process everything with everyone. We sometimes give quick, simple answers because of time or opportunity constraints. We know the explanation and process (and wrestling and baggage) behind our brief response but others might not. They might have a “well, wouldn’t it be nice if it was just that simple” response. They might tune us out. We can’t control everyone’s response, but we can do our best to communicate clearly and authentically.
Let’s not be satisfied to give people the quick, simple answers. Let’s not tell them to just clean themselves up so that their lives will suddenly be neat and tidy. Let’s do life with others, especially when it’s messy.