Hey guys, Charlie here. You might have already seen this interview with Brandt Russo we shared on Facebook a while back. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s totally worth it, as it touches on so many of the things we talked about at Authenticity and some of the issues that were so courageously addressed by our speakers.
Brandt talks about how he wanted to be open about his struggles, but couldn’t bring himself to go through it. However once everything was exposed, he said “I realised I had put myself in a horrible situation and God still is who He promised He is and He can redeem this… I could finally get free because everybody knows.”
It takes a lot of openness and support to get through our struggles. Brandt questions whether churches are ready for that: “We haven’t prepped ourselves to be that open.” I wonder if he’s on to something here.
You see, authenticity doesn’t just happen. Our first instinct – especially in our ‘hyperreal’ culture – isn’t always to be open with each other and to enable others to be open with us. We need to be intentional about creating a culture of openness, where there is room for vulnerability, struggles, and – most importantly – grace. For we believe in a God who doesn’t call the perfect, but redeems the imperfect. How we start to create that culture of grace is the big question. Or to use Brandt’s words – how do we prep ourselves? What does that look like with my church? In my small group? When I’m with my friends? Do you and your mates need to come to agreement that you’ll stop going on about first world problems and get to the real issues? Does it mean no longer asking ‘How are you’ and just being content with a surface answer? Does it mean you have to be the first one in your small group to front up about your struggles?
Whatever it looks like for you, may God give us all the courage to be open about our struggles and also the courage to open our arms to those who are struggling, so we can show each other the grace that Jesus has shown us.