Back in the 1950s, an American panel game show entitled "To tell the truth" was a big hit with viewers, including me. As a teenager, I enjoyed trying to figure out who the "real" person was before the panel guessed.
The show featured a panel of four celebrities whose object was to correctly identify the "real" person, who was accompanied by two impostors. The impostors would pretend to be the "real" character and were allowed to lie, whereas the "real" character had to tell the truth. After questioning the characters, the panel had to identify which of the three challengers was telling the truth. Most of the time, I guessed wrong, because the impostors were pretty good at hiding their real character.
It seems to me that many Christians are pretty good at hiding their real character. We don't like revealing our real self, fearing that we would lose the respect of others if they knew about our inner struggles and pain. Likewise, the world somehow expects church people to be perfect, and some church people hate to admit that they're not. Despite their efforts, church people have come to be known as hypocrites!
Ephesians 4:25 – So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. (NRSV)
As Christians, are we the "real deal" to everyone we encounter, or are we putting on a false front by pretending that as Christians, we do not have any problems?
I am reminded of the "motley crew" that God has chosen to spread His message of hope and forgiveness. King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, tried to cover up her pregnancy, and when he failed, had her husband Uriah killed. King David's life was a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows, yet God used him.
Moses killed an Egyptian for hitting a Hebrew man, yet he was chosen by God to lead the Jewish people out of slavery into the promised land.
The truth is that in spite of not having it all together, God will use us, too, to further His kingdom on earth.
We all have fallen short; none of us is perfect. Isn't that why Jesus paid the price of dying on a cross for us?
Prayer: Lord God, you know the struggles and pain that each one of us is going through. Help us to become "real" to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to our community. Help us to let go of our pride and to share our suffering with each other, knowing that others will be able to identify with our pain and be drawn to You, Who are with us always. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "God Be With You" (Lyrics)