Mike is a good man, that’s what people say. Does all the right things, says all the right things, Christianise is his favourite language. He can quote all the verse’s, he’s learnt them by rote. He carries a secret though that would destroy his credibility. Guilt, fear and shame haunt his every thought.
Mike does what is right. Goes to all the courses, reads all the books, memorises the verses, and follows the rules, but still his problem holds him tight. He is in accountability groups, others look up to him, and follow his exhortations to try harder.
What a fake, counterfeit, hypocrite.
He is the moral policeman on the stage of life. His front stage performances enjoy the encores, all the boxes being ticked for an excellent performance, meanwhile backstage it is a complete shambles.
For Mike Spiritual Transformation is an act of doing what is right. He believes his stubborn will needs to change through instruction, exhortation, and accountability. It is law without grace in a community of pressure.
For Mike faith was a religion of rules rather than a relationship of grace. It was a sham that was carefully manicured for those observing.
What Mike most needed was not a rule book or an exhortation to try harder but a person who would welcome him in, sin and all.
Why do we treat each other like this? Why do we lay heavy burdens on others?
It’s painful to see the terrible burdens people carry - alone. Surely we are to be a people of grace, mercy, forgiveness, transparency and vulnerability. Yes, it’s important to make an effort, but I have seen huge burdens of moral performance laid on weak fragile shoulders, faking it till they supposedly make it. A mask is formed, a performance is practiced, and a lie is told to the self and the world.
Surely there must be a better way?
Image: David Hayward - Naked Pastor