The Truth of the Matter
“Evangelicals often preach that what the culture needs is absolute truth, but what the culture needs is a church that believes the truth so absolutely it actually lives it out.”
This quote, from a recent church workshop I attended, on the theme “Looking Around,” rings true in terms of my own experience. Fewer people, today, seem to be showing up at church, wanting to be told what is true, however, increasing numbers of people come wanting to learn how to truly live. They ache to discover some of the missing elements of life itself; qualities like – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These qualities, though greatly desired, are M.I.A. for far too many people. Some have simply stopped believing they exist – “too good to be true” they imagine.
Truth be told, no matter what we’ve been told, these life traits seem locked in a room, and beyond our reach, unless we have the opportunity to observe and interact with persons whose character is shaped by these living qualities. I can remember the small number of folks who made the biggest difference in my life years ago. Not only did they offer me truth-filled words, but they truly lived them out before my eyes. And they did so at the exact moments in my own life when their messages, though very much needed, might have gone unnoticed or been rejected by me, were it not for the way these Christ-focused friends incarnated these traits in their own day to day lives.
I appreciate how the apostle Paul puts it in Romans 12 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
The good news for the church, and for me, however, is that we have one who shows us the Way. I just have to follow the Leader.