When I visited Ukraine several years ago, I was impressed how beautiful everyone looked on the street and in the community. Men were wearing their finest suits and polished shoes, and women were wearing their most beautiful dresses, designer heels, and name-brand accessories. When I asked one of my Ukrainian companions about their wealth and how everyone looked so stylish, he mentioned to me, “It’s all a show. These people have only a few sticks of furniture in their houses and are all very poor. They want to give the impression that they are wealthy but these are probably the only clothes that a lot of them own.” It seemed very strange to me that a people would go to such lengths to show themselves so strong and put-together but in their private lives be living in poverty.
Why is it that many in the church behave that way? It is so easy to act like there is absolutely nothing wrong in our lives, and we display our “Sunday-Best” with our “Sunday-Morning Smile” so everyone can see how put together we are. Yet, if someone were to probe just a little deeper than “how are you this morning?” or “how’s your week?” they would often find people broken by sin, holding back tears, and forcing a smile. Even deeper, it might be that they’re afraid to be looked down upon if any of these weaknesses were made known – even within the church. What happens when the “abundant life” is not so abundant? Do we just pretend?
We often sing the song, “Bring Christ Your Broken Life.” The church that our Lord purchased with His own blood is a place where we bring our Master Potter the pieces and He puts us back together to be useful in His service (Jer. 18:1-6). The church is a place where we bring the Great Physician our scars, cuts, bruises, and brokenness and He begins to heal us (c.f. Luke 5:31-32). The church is a place where the spiritually sick come to get help. Why would we think that it’s not ok to need help or to ask for help from others (Jas. 5:16)? God can do so much with a broken life-it’s when our lives look like they’re put together that we need to watch out (1 Cor. 10:12; 2 Cor. 12:9-10)!