Everyone has junk in their past that they aren't proud of. If you don't, then you must have lived an awfully sheltered existence. I'd be willing to bet, even you probably have something you regret. We are all afraid to let people know what it is, was, whatever. But that's just it... WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING! Why are some so quick to look down on someone else because that person's "something" is worse than their own personal "something?" It makes no sense to me.
If you know anything about us, my husband especially, or the ministry of McMillan & Life, you know that we are brutally honest in concert. It isn't meant to make you feel bad for us but to let you know that we are real people with real problems and real pain. We have some real issues in our family these days. More than many of you know about. Some of the things that are going on we just don't feel we can share out of fear of it "getting out." Church people often disguise their gossip in "prayer requests." Because gossiping everyone knows is wrong but if we hide it in a prayer request then suddenly it becomes ok. You all know what I mean. You know when you are disguising it as a prayer request. I can sadly admit, I've been guilty of it before. By the grace of God, it's been a while.
I've been reading a book that I bought with the intention of giving it to someone else called, God in the Alley. I wanted to make sure that it was going to speak to the person I bought it for like I hoped (sometimes you just can't tell all you want to from the liner on the back) so I wanted to read it first. I'm not through it all yet but I can tell you already that I am more aware already of the need to be real. The writer talks about how he had a deeper desire to be a living example of Jesus to the world. In order to be Jesus to someone else, he felt that he had to be willing to see Jesus in them too. He saw Jesus in a man dying of AIDS who wasn't even a believer in Jesus but in a moment of helping to clean up this man who had soiled himself, the man began to pray blessings on him. That is truly a moment to see Jesus in someone else whether or not they are a believer. It also shows that the writer did in fact become a living example of Jesus to this man.
He felt God calling him to a place where he could really minister to the "spiritually unloved" of society. You know who I'm talking about... the ones we claim to Jesus and everyone in our church that we "love unconditionally." When in reality God knows that many, in their heart of hearts, when they think nobody is watching them, they shun because they are afraid it may infect their lives. Those people to whom we say, "No of course I don't judge you, I just can't be around you." As though if they associate with the person who is a drug abuser, prostitute, alcoholic, (insert your inexcusable sin here) and dare I say, homosexual, the sin they have is contagious. Jesus fellowshipped with these people. Why do we feel like we shouldn't? I don't understand that. I have friends that know that I don't condone things in their lives (whatever those things may be) but they are still my friends. I don't have to condone everything someone does to love them as Jesus does. Jesus fellowshipped with the people that needed Him most. Why do we put categories on sin when the Bible plainly states, "No sin is greater than another?" Why is it that the above mentioned "sins" seem to carry so much more weight than someone who lies or "speaks evangelistically" because they want you to find them more successful than they truly are? These are just things that don't make sense to me if we are going to "be Jesus" to anyone. I certainly don't expect you to start walking up to people on the street admitting every time you lied or did something you knew in your gut was wrong. I do expect people to start being more aware of "the plank in your own eye," myself included.
I've heard my husband say many times that as the church, we are so quick to sink our own its no wonder people don't feel like they can be honest. If we can't be real to each other as christians and let someone know that there is junk in our lives that we need prayer for or even to forgive ourselves for, then how can we hope to win a lost world to a Savior who loves us more than all our junk? I desire to love people as I love God. I desire to be and see Jesus in others. I desire to share my prayer requests with people in a way that will make me vulnerable but not food for vultures. Dear Lord, I hope I am the kind of person I wish for? Can you be that person?