In Christian circles, there’s a “type.” You, dearest reader, could probably describe to me what a “man of God” or a “woman of God” should look like to be a “true follower of Christ.” How their blog should read, what they should post on their Facebook, and the kinds of words they should say.
And quite frankly, I have the amazing privilege to be surrounded by really, really incredible Christians. Between the ministries at Shadow Mountain and Gateway Community, Worldview Academy, my own family, and the blogs I follow, I have role models to last me for the rest of my life. I don’t even have time to let Lady Gaga be my role model. And this is great! I love watching them, reading their blogs, listening to them speak, and watching them live out their faith. There are even some young girls in my life who view me in that light, which is terrifying, to say the least.
However, in this whirlwind of great Christian people who write and say spiritual things and don’t seem to have a single chink in their armor, I find discouragement. By no fault of my role models, I find myself being sucked into this expectation of what I should look like if I want to be a good Christian. And knowing that I don’t meet it all the time (or most of the time), but I am expected to, drives me to put on an ornate “woman of God” mask to hide the fact that I’m not being honest with you about my walk with God, because if you took away all the pretty words and nice posts, I sound a lot messier than I should. Maybe my role models just have it all together, but I doubt it.
The Christian walk isn’t a pretty one sometimes. Taking up your cross and following Him isn’t a stroll in the park with a cross around your neck. There are times when I fail epically and times when I get upset and frustrated and want to give up, but I have the cross in my sights so I know that I cannot give up. But how often do we take off the masks and show how much we have messed up and allow the grace of Christ to make us who we are instead of our own us-ness?
That is the true essence of the Gospel: We are broken, unlovable beings who have been ransomed and redeemed by an overwhelmingly good God. It is in Him that we find our value and our worth, and in seeking him that we find our ultimate joy. He is the role model we must follow, not a Christian woman or man in our lives.
It’s just that every once in a while I forget. You have permission to be imperfect and broken, because it will open every door for you to point your restoration back to Jesus Christ and Him crucified.