Well, we're actually meeting over the summer but tonight we finished our Loving Your Husband study. The group that did this study had been together since September 2006. I'm gonna miss our little group, although I am looking forward to the new group, but this group of ladies is special. We've been through a lot these last months; and I've gotten to actually know, and make myself known to the ladies in this group.
It's hard. The whole getting to know one another.
A friend from New Hampshire recently visited and we got talking about church and religion. "Too many hypocrites and snobs" she said. That was her reason for not going to church. "Why do I want to go and be around a bunch of people who talk one way and then I see them act another. They put on the appearance of a wonderful, trouble-free life when I know it's not true"
When I hear this excuse I can't help but think about myself. I'm a regular church goer, am I a hypocrite? Webster defines hypocrite as:
1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
My first instinct is to answer yes I am a hypocrite; my actions do not always line up with my beliefs. Like when bad news comes my way and I begin to fuss and worry. I see things from my point of view, from the eyes of an earthling instead of seeing things through God's eyes and His ways. I am a hypocrite when I say I believe God and then proceed to feel hopeless. "Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17. If I believe that then why would I worry or see no hope, or be convinced something can't be done? Even God said "I am the LORD, the God of mankind. Is there anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
I also say no, I'm not a hypocrite, I'm a sinner. Period.
Perhaps it's the honesty about our sin, or the lack thereof, that makes one think the church is full of hypocrites.
No I don't think sharing all our details about our daily sins and problems is the answer but I do think honesty is.
"How are you doing"
"I had a rough week,
my kids didn't listen,
my husband and I fought all week,
I got frustrated for no reason,
I yelled- a lot,
I kicked a hole in my wall,
I spiked a telephone,
I went shopping to feel better,
I ate a gallon of ice cream,
my marriage is a mess,
I picked up smoking again,
I ran to alcohol when times got tough,
I'm stressed at work...."
Those are the real answers, the non-hypocritical ones, the honest ones.
When we answer honestly people can pray for us, come along side us, help bear our burdens.
When we see people for who they are, they're not hypocrites, they're just like us, just like me. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. romans 3:23.
So take a chance and get to know each other, be honest, be open. God gave us each other to build one another up- how can we do that if we don't share our tough times, our broken down times, the times when we need to be built up?
That's what my small group has done. We've become honest, real. There's no hypocrites around these parts anymore. Come join us one week if you're in the area. We're a mess, but we've got each other and more importantly we've got Jesus and we'll point you and your mess to HIM.
So as I venture out into another study I say farewell to my Monday Night Girls who bared through this study of loving your husband, which by the way had nothing to do with our husbands and everything to do with us. It was hard for some, one even refused to write her answers in her book, but she, well we persevered.
Enjoy this photo of the gift they all gave me as a thank you. It wasn't planned out or thought through, they each dug through their purses and pulled something out last minute, but hey I love it even more because it's part of them. It's real, it's honest.
That's Nerds Rope candy, a pen, a bandaid, a lolly-pop, snickers bar and yes some dental floss and no I won't use it, the dental floss. The chocolate's in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow and the nerds rope will make a nice snack. I love a good pen and who doesn't need a bandaid?Actually the dental floss was pulled out and teased about giving it to me then put back in the purse, I wonder if she is going to use it?? Nevertheless, I had to pull some out for the photo.