I recently heard a wonderful sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick about the importance of community and transparency. In his sermon he talked about how we can use our own struggles to reach others for Jesus by being real with others. I have pondered that sermon and it’s message a lot. He focused two words, “me too.” I thought about how comforting it is to hear those words. In the grocery store when faced with a three year old tantrum from your eight year old and another mom whispers, “don’t stress we’ve all bee there,” the humiliation seems to melt away just for a moment. When you feel overwhelmed by the stress of working a full time job, being a mom, and a wife, and a sweet friend whispers, “hang in there, I’ve been there too,” the stress of it all seems worth it.
After contemplating further on those two little words, “me too”after recent events in history, I have come to realize that in our society we have taken the comfort in relating to others a step to far. Instead of sharing our story of victory over sin, we often take comfort in knowing that our struggles are the same as everyone else’s. It is perfectly okay to relate to others and take comfort in knowing we all have the same struggles. What is not okay is taking the attitude that if she struggles with a certain sin that it is okay for “me too.” We have formed whole communities of sin based on the premise of “me too.” Sin is becoming so accepted and rampant because instead of using our struggles to help each other grow and become better we “accept” each other for “who we are” and continue to live in and promote our sin. Tread carefully Christians as we seek to offer comfort to others who struggle with similar sins, that we don’t validate it. Validating the humanness and sin nature of all people is okay. Sin entered the world with Adam and Eve and everyone is born with a “sin nature” and things that they struggle with, that others may not. This world has ranked sins into ones that are more accepted than others, when in reality the Bible teachers that sin is sin. My struggles with anxiety and worry are just as much sin as someone who struggles with gluttony or greed. I can find comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my struggles. However, if I validate my sin based off the fact that others struggle too and I continue to live in my sin, I have taken that validation too far. We are all sinners in need of grace. Most of us need grace and need it daily. Paraphrased from Pastor Steven’s sermon, “The things we struggle with when we are young are probably the same things we will struggle with when we are old. It is our responsibility to grow and learn how to better deal with our struggles and understand the struggle from a deeper perspective.” Time spent in the word, church attendance, small group Bible study, and accountability partners are all good way to help us grow in better understanding of “who we really are” in Christ. We are forgiven, we are free, we can grow and overcome but it takes work and we have to want it. Go forward in this world seeking to love others and ready to forgive. Ready your heart and mind daily by putting on your spiritual armor “ready to give an answer for the hope inside of you.” (1 Peter 3:15)
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16