2 Cor. 1:4
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
I don't know about you, but when I think back on 37 years of my Christian walk with God, what stands out the most are the individuals who were 'Real'. When I say 'Real', they were imperfectly holy, if there is such a thing.
The things that have impacted me the most have been all the testimonies shared with me from believers who had fallen in love with the Lord. They faced tough challenges and many times they had no answers for the situations they found themselves in, yet, they simply remained faithful to God. It was as simple as that for them.
As they shared their many accounts of God's faithfulness to them, in spite of themselves, I was encouraged because through them, God was letting me know that despite my weaknesses and failures, He was going to hang in there with me and bless me regardless.
The Lord constantly reminds me of the testimonies of others and brings them to mind just when I need them the most.
Not everyone who has come across my path has impacted me in that way. But it has been the ones who were authentic and real in their faith!
I have never benefitted from the 'One liners' or the 'Praise The Lord' greetings. Never! The individuals who have just been their true selves as they shared their triumphs and their struggles and the powerful manifestations of the Lord in their lives, have given me strength for my journey and I will never forget what they have told me. I am still living off of their words today!
There is something so attractive and beautiful about being your authentic self. After all, humans are pretty much transparent after a while, so you might as well be you and do you. Nothing is worse than finding out that a person isn't who they made you to believe they were.
It is this same authenticity that leads others to Christ. People are looking for honesty and truth and the real deal. The world has already lied to them and now they are looking for what's true.
Your struggles, and my struggles, your triumphs, and my triumphs, were meant to be shared in order to help someone else gain a few steps closer to God. Let's not fail on purpose (by doing something we know is wrong) or fail because we've been careless or carnal, but let us use all we've been given and all we've experienced to help strengthen the body of Christ!
I don't know if you noticed, but the local church is shrinking dramatically and the power from the word has lost its punch; God hasn't changed, but the vessels have. We need to live Christ and share Christ while we still have the chance!