Saturday, February 18, 2012


What answer do you expect when you ask someone, "How are you doing?" Do you really want to know the answer to your question, or are you asking out of social obligation? If they reply with more than one word, do you suddenly become uncomfortable? Or, are you disappointed or frustrated when you only get a one word answer?

What answer do you give when someone asks you the question? Do you reply with "Fine", "Ok", "Alright", or is your response honest and a little more descriptive than a simple "Fine"?

It bugs me when someone obviously isn't fine, but says that they are. I typically don't ask how you are or what's going on in your life if I don't want to know, but I am guilty of asking at times that don't allow for adequate time to respond in an honest manner. And I am totally guilty of answering a quick "fine" or "good" in response to someone's question, but get frustrated when that's all I get from someone else. I think I do it because I feel like sometimes people only ask out of social obligation. At other times it just feels plain awkward to give a genuine, honest response (probably because that isn't the 'norm').

Why do we do these things? Do we not have time to stop and listen (or talk - depending on which side you're on)? Are we really so busy that we don't have time for people? Or is it just strange and awkward to talk about what's actually going on in our lives? It is easier to say, "Fine," than to be transparent?

Last Sunday our Pastor talked about authenticity and the importance of it in the body of Christ. When we give the answer of 'fine', we're pretty much not doing anything to build a relationship with another member of 'the body'. Authenticity is one of those things that we could all stand to work on a little (or a lot) - mostly because we aren't that great at it on a consistent basis. We don't always accept people for who they are. Society has this habit of wanting people to fit some mold and sometimes, the church does the same thing. But the truth is, God designed us to be uniquely different. As the body of Christ, shouldn't we embrace those differences and build on individual strengths?

An authentic life is a transparent life. Transparency can leave you feeling vulnerable - naked - but the truth is, you're pretty naked before God already. He knows that you don't have it all together. I am finding that it's liberating to admit I don't have it all together (which requires my being a little more transparent when asked questions that I'm so tempted to just give a one-word response to). Relationships grow and the body of Christ is strengthened through authenticity.


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