Our Lips and Our Lives
There is a war going on inside all of us…
Inside each and every one of us who call ourselves Christian is a battle, a conflict between two different ideas about who God is. Two theologies. Each of us has two theologies, and they both play distinct roles. One is a charade, and the other is what we really believe. One is the mask we wear on the weekends and during prayer meetings, the other is the actual posture of our souls.
Inside and out. Internal and external.
This is what you’ve been taught. This is what the bible actually says, according to your pastor, your theology professor, or even your own study of God’s word. This is the things we say on Sunday. It’s our confession of faith, our denomination’s prize token that differentiates them from the others. It’s the centerpiece we gather around. It’s often the actual, matter-of-fact truth about how things are.
Yet, it’s a charade. It’s worn as a mask, something we put on when we’re together. Something that we wear to belong on Sundays, or during small groups. It’s shown most when things are going good. It’s used as a defense mechanism, a justification for our insecurities and lack of grace and love. It’s used as a weapon to cover up our own scars. And the reason it’s used in this dark way is because of the deeper problem, our internal theology.
This is what you actually believe. When the stage goes dark, and the congregation is out for lunch, this is where you find yourself. This is the true posture of your heart. And from this understanding of God, life, and the nature of reality flows everything else you do.
And if this is healthy, so is everything else. If this is postured well, then your life will be a radiant example of the Love of Jesus. You will be a force of change in the world, a kingdom-warrior who is on the frontline, breaking chains, liberating, and bringing the light into the darkness with the grace and truth.
But, if this part of you is off, then everything else is off. If you’re like me, there are countless ways in which your internal theology, your heart’s beliefs, are off. And trust me, it shows.
Maybe you don’t actually believe God loves you. Maybe you don’t actually believe that the Holy Spirit is in you. Maybe you don’t actually trust that all of your sins are payed for. Underneath the surface, you might find yourself thinking that God paid for it all back then, but now that you’re a committed Christian He expects more of you.
And so what happens, is you put on that external profession of faith as a mask. It becomes your token of entry into the club of church and faith. It’s your gate code to heaven. You may be thinking God wants you to proclaim the right words in order to please Him. You may constantly be wondering why God isn’t showing up in your life. You may be feeling abandoned, disheartened, depressed, or confused.
I’m just being honest…
Whatever it is, your internal self doesn’t line up. In our core being we often aren’t in line with what we externally say. My friends, this is a form of hypocrisy. And I don’t say it to be condemning, but rather to bring a light into the darkness. Perhaps this is why some Christians seem worse off than non-Christians.
Friends, we need to break into that internal space. We need to be honest with ourselves and others about what’s really going on down there. We need to stop hiding underneath carefully formulated theology that acts as a mask for our true selves, or as a gate keeper to our communities of faith. Instead, let us liberate our hearts from the bondage of this parade of mask-wearing men and women, and instead enter into a place of heart-breaking honesty that allows us to actually experience the grace of Jesus. Then, we’ll find ourselves in a strange new place where the theology once proclaimed aloud as a mere entrance exam is now the song of our hearts.