Thursday, January 28, 2010

No Explanations

This was posted on Brian McLaren's site. The picture was taken by Mike Todd at a church next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It's a pretty funny picture, and the wording is possibly due to the difficulties of translating from one language into another.

As I occasionally do when I see things like this, I began to think. I thought about how we in the church often come together. Before we gather, we put on our masks in order to appear as if we have it all together. We dress up, or down as the case might be, in order to look spiritual. (We either "put on our best for God," or we show that we "know that God cares about what's in our heart, not what's on the outside.")

If we're one of those who don't do everything perfectly, who sometimes royally screw up, (I like to call these people "humans") we come armed with explanations for the things we have done or said. We feel that we have to justify ourselves in the eyes of others because we don't want anyone to think that we don't measure up. Maybe we have experienced the judgement of those who condemn others in order to make themselves look and feel good. Maybe we can't forgive ourselves for something we've done in the past. Maybe we just don't think we're worthy of anyone's love and acceptance. For whatever reason, we think of a "Yes, but," to tack on in order to explain ourselves.

Sometimes we even try to explain things to God when we come to him in prayer. When you stop and think about it, trying to make excuses for something that the Creator knows everything about is pretty foolish. Yet, we continue to do it.

We all need to realize that we don't need explanations. The Father knows all about us, even more than we know, and he loves and accepts us anyway. We may try to explain ourselves, but his response is, "It doesn't matter. It's taken care of. Just let me love you. Trust me." We shouldn't need explanations in the church either. We're told in Romans 14 that we are to accept those whom God has accepted. We have no right to judge those who are forgiven by God, and they don't owe us any explanation for being human and acting like it.

Let's take off the masks, and accept ourselves and our brothers and sisters as who we are - frail humans who still sin, but who are accepted in the Beloved and are righteous in the Father's sight. Please: No explanations inside the church.


Kansas Bob said...

Goos stuff! A few points that I thought were especially rich:

+ We dress up, or down as the case might be, in order to look spiritual.

+ We all need to realize that we don't need explanations.

Yesterday I found myself telling a friend that Christianity is about grace not judgment.. kind of amazing that it is so hard for some to get.. now that I think of it.. took me a long time to get :)

co_heir said...

Sometimes, I wonder if we really want to get it.

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