Inspiration

Change Requires Honest Community

"Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God - truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body." (Ephesians 4:21-25 NLT)

To change the defects in your life, you have to have people in your life who tell you the truth. You're not going to get well on your own; you're going to need other people in your life. You're going to need support. You're going to need a small group. Change requires honest community.

There are some things in your life you're never ever going to be able to change on your own, typically the things that are the most difficult in your life and that you don't want anybody else to know about.

You're never getting over those things until you share them with someone. You don't have to tell everybody. You just need to find one person who will trust you and whom you trust - someone who will be confidential, love you unconditionally, not be judgmental, and pray for you. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing.

This does not mean a small group where you get together on a superficial level and everyone is "fine" or "doing great." You have to get to the level of maturity in your small group where you can say, "I had a tough week this week. Life stinks. Here's what happened."

"So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body" (Ephesians 4:25 NLT).

If you're a believer, you're also a belonger. You belong in the family of God, and every other believer belongs to you. You cannot become until you belong. You can't become what God wants you to be until you belong in a group that's going to have gut-level, honest community. Put away falsehood. Talk to your neighbor. Tell your friend the truth, because we belong to each other.

If you are serious about changing the deepest hang-ups in your heart, the deepest defects in your life, you're going to have to face the fear of being honest. You've got to stop faking it. You've got to put away falsehood. You've got to be real.

You can go through life with one of two choices: pretending like you've got it all together or getting it all together. But you'll never get it all together as long as you pretend you've got it all together. And you're never going to get well, get healed, get rid of that area that's bugging you in your life until you talk to somebody about it.

Talk About It

  • How would you describe your small group's level of transparency? Are you "real" with each other?
  • What has been the result of pretending like you have it all together? How do you feel?

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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional ©2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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