Funny How..

.. even in our churches, it is  ok to say some things but not others..

I’ve had such a stressful day I finished a bottle of wine on my own = okay

I’ve been drinking a lot recently and don’t know how to stop = not

My husband never listens to a word I say. I think he’s on another planet = okay

I don’t know how to talk to my wife anymore. We share the same house but we have nothing in common = not

I’ve been feeling a bit low recently. Guess it’s all the stress = okay

I’m struggling with depression = not

Having kids changes your life = okay

I sometimes wish we didn’t have the kids = not

Sex? Are you joking! I’d rather have a cup of tea = okay

We’ve been sleeping in separate beds for the last six months = not

I need to read my Bible more = okay

I hate reading the Bible. It’s boring/makes no sense/I’m not interested = not

I’m busy at work = okay

I hate home group = not

We’ve all got our struggles = okay

Here’s some of my struggles = not

I’m a normal redblooded male = okay

I’m thinking about/having an affair = not

Things are tight at the moment = okay

I don’t know how we will pay the rent – can you help? = not

I’ve missed a few quiet times = okay

I’m addicted to porn = not

I’m struggling with low self-esteem = okay

I’m cutting myself = not

Funny how often  we say the former when we mean the latter

5 thoughts on “Funny How..

  1. Generic admission of tendency to sin=okay
    Specific affirmation of particular sin that needs to be addressed=not.


    I have a sneaking suspicion that Satan loves it when we avoid nailing down and being open about our faults. It creates a sense of isolation in which the problem can fester while the individual sinks ever lower into hopelessness.

  2. Great observations – generic is safer than specific and less risky – but lonelier too

  3. All this is so true. Except to most people I know at church, I wouldn’t even say the ‘okay’ statements about drink and sex! I really agree with Heather’s comment above as well. It does create a sense of isolation and makes things worse. I’ve definitely experienced this.

  4. I must admit that i don’t find it a problem that people don’t open up in this way when they’re all together as a church over coffee or whatever. The problem emerges when either the church “situation” can’t ever handle someone being frank, or when no one in the church body ever shares anything of importance with anyone else on a one-to-one basis. If I thought every trip to church had to involve a kind of self-transparency, then I wouldn’t ever go; but if that means I never opened up, then church becomes a kind of social game-playing.
    I like your idea of what we can and can’t say. I reckon most churches should have a list on the door as you go in, just to save time and embarrassment.

  5. Hi Hannah and Dave

    Thanks for your comments. Yes, as you’ve both highlighted, there are some things we probably wouldn’t want to share over coffee at church. ‘Has anyone else seen the latest Ann Summer’s body paint?’ is probably best kept private. But on the other hand, it is with the church family (whether individuals or larger groups) that we are freed to be real and to experience community and support instead of shame and isolation. I like the idea of a list on the door…!

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