Wednesday, September 14, 2005
This is my nephew Jackson who (like his dad) exemplifies authenticity not only in this picture but in his day to day existence. Jack is a no nonsense, straight forward kid who loves to play monster trucks and tackle game. He is the real deal!
The next core value of the OD I want to muse about is, authenticity: We deeply desire community that reflects genuineness, honesty, openness, and vulnerability with each other and God. By modeling risk-taking in our relationships, we expect to experience God's grace.
Like Jackson, we hope that at the Open Door you get what you get. It is what it is as my friend Jimmy says. We are who we are. No pretension or posturing just real people striving to love God and love others amidst all of our brokenness, struggle and sin. We are angel beasts. Our lives are bitter sweet. We strive not manage sin rather confess it so that we can become all God desires us to be by his grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. When we seek to manage our sin it continues to control us and keeps us in slavery and bondage to it. We hide it from others pretending life is fine and masking our true selves from God, the community around us and even ourselves. That thought or behavior begins to dictate, dominate and drive our life until we confess, and come out of the closet into the light of God and others. James tells us to confess our sins to one another so that we might be healed. Once acknowledged, the sinful behavior, attitude or practice then looses its subversive supremacy over us because it is exposed for what it is. A distortion of the full life God intends. That is part of what it means to be authentic, real, honest and vulnerable. As a community we strive to live our lives transparently before God and one another. What you see is what you get. It is what it is. This is a risky, dangerous and yet freeing practice. Authentic grace-filled relationships before God and one another most often lead to a renovation of our heart, a transformation of our minds and a lasting change of our behavior. I highly recommend Dallas Willard's two books, The Divine Conspiracy and Renovation of the Heart for further study and practice of this!
Keep it real!
And today (09/15) my friend Lauren sent me this, "How strange that we should ordinarily feel compelled to hide our wounds when we are all wounded! Community requires the ability to expose our wounds and weaknesses to our fellow creatures. It also requires the ability to be affected by the wounds of others... But even more important is the love that arises among us when we share, both ways, our woundedness." (M. Scott Peck, A Different Drum)
Labels: Open Door