"We are doing fine!"
Of course, mother died, brother went bankrupt, sister left her husband, and I just got fired from my job. But, we are fine.
Do you know people like that? They are always doing fine. At least that is what they say. In fact, some people seem to always communicate that they are doing wonderful. Now perhaps some people really are doing wonderful most of the time. Yet, I wonder if some of us believe that authentic Christians should always be doing wonderful. Could it be that we believe this is to be expected?
Now I generally enjoy life. I would even go on to say that I am experiencing a rich joy that is found in Christ. Yet, my life does have its ups and downs. There are times when I go through seasons where so much seems to go very well. There are other times when life is tough and the days are not the most enjoyable (probably an understatement). There are times of sadness and struggle.
Now that doesn’t mean that most of the time my life is in a crisis. Last Saturday, we saw The Dark Knight. No, my life is not like Batman’s. I am not in the middle of a life or death crisis. Nor does my life feel like the two and a half hours of the intense action in that movie.
No, my life is normal with all of life’s ups and downs. Yet, what is it that might compel me or any other Christ-follower to communicate to others that everything is always wonderful?
Now I do realize that we don’t necessarily want to really talk about our lives with every human being we encounter. I may walk into the cleaners today and the person behind the counter might ask, "How’s it going?" I don’t know that I need to say, "I’m glad you asked. I’m really feeling down today. In fact, let me tell you about some of the things going on in my life."
There are other people in our lives who we just don’t have the relationship with to be able to really talk about life as it is. In fact, because of past experiences with this person, I may be very hesitant to reveal very much at all.
I do think this is worthy of some thought.
Is there a reason why many Christian people feel compelled to leave the impression that their lives are always wonderful? Is this an unspoken expectation within some of our Christian communities? What are the consequences of being a church with such an unspoken expectation?