Enough with the fronts. I’m over it. I’m tired of people smiling and bull-crapping everyone in their life about how things are going all the time. What’s the point? We’re all having a hard time, right? Most of us, most of the time are desperately hanging onto our faith in Jesus and asking God to help us, aren’t we? Am I the only one? The Apostle Paul tells us that we are guaranteed suffering and that we are destined to go through trials. So why in the world does everyone always say they’re doing “awesome” all the time?!

99 times out of 100, when you go up to somebody at church and say, “Hey, how’s it going?” they will say, “It’s great!” - Really?! Is it really going great? Why don’t people ever say, “Dang, it’s tough right now. It’s been a hard week and I’ve been a royal jerk and I’m just about 3 seconds away from losing my cool. Do you think we could go sit down somewhere and talk and maybe you could pray for me?” I mean, come on! If the New Testament is right about how many struggles and trials and problems we’re supposed to be walking through as the children of God, church ought to look like a battlefield hospital with little clusters of people who are hurting and praying and glad to see each other because they need so much support. 

Don’t get me wrong… we’re supposed to be joyful! We’re supposed to rejoice in our trials and we’re supposed to be filled with praise and singing, but that doesn’t mean we should be covering up our hurts and struggles, painting a false smile on our face and telling everyone we’re doing “awesome” when we’re not. 

So how do you do that? How can you rejoice in everything and not be a complete fake? Well, according to the book of 1 John, one of the fundamental keys to knowing God and walking with Him is simply being honest about who you are. John calls it “walking in the light.” He says we need to be honest about our sinfulness and our problems and struggles. If we’re honest, we have fellowship with God and with each other. If you’re fronting, you can’t be forgiven because Jesus didn’t die for a lie. He died for the real you. When someone gets real, everybody else feels compassion and forgiveness for that person. Then a funny thing happens: it makes everyone else get a little more real too. 

Walking in the light starts with you, right now. Just be honest about who you are and how you feel and how you’re messing up. Jesus loves that. You find His forgiveness when you’re real and other people who know Him will respond with love and honesty too. Before you know it, you find out you’re not alone and other people are struggling just like you are. You find out you’re loved and forgiven even though you’re a mess, and folks, there’s nothing that will make a person rejoice more than that.