My wife and I have been doing a beta course online from TrueFaced.com, and it has been really interesting. Part of the learning process involves getting out and talking to people, and she and I have also enjoyed talking to each other about the course. I have been very encouraged by what I have learned, and it has changed my view on some points. It has also reminded me that if you don’t apply what you read in the Bible, then you don’t fully understand it.
The course has taught me that a person can live in two rooms. There’s the room of good intentions, and there’s the room of grace. Living in the room of good intentions sounds like a good and positive thing to do, but sometimes it gets in the way of trusting people and trusting God.
With the best of intentions, you might not be as open as you need to be. You might even put on a mask. The mask says, “Here is what I intend to look like in front of everybody. I am going to create a positive environment for people. I am going to be upbeat.” Right? You mean well!
And so you walk into church wearing a smile that might be a little bit faked. Someone says, “Hey, how are you doing?” And you say, “Great!”
Is that true? Are you doing great? It doesn’t matter! You’ll fake it till you make it, because you don’t want to be a bummer.
I think this afflicts everybody. Everybody you meet in church seems to be doing great. You hear it all morning long! “How are you doing’?” “Oh, I’m good! How are you doing’?” “Oh, I’m great!”
Pretty soon you find yourself thinking, umm, time out! Everybody is great? How is this possible?
I don’t buy it. I don’t understand how everybody can be doing great. If everybody is doing great, then why do 50% of Christian marriages fail? If everybody in church is doing great, then how do we explain the chaos that happens?
It all lives in that room of good intentions. My intention is to be doing great. I’m sure yours is too! But if you live there, if you put on the mask and tell people it’s true, then you have to start faking it. And there’s a problem with faking it. Many times, with my wife, or with friends, or even with my own kids, my intention to be great isn’t enough to make it true. In fact, life isn’t like that at all. Just because we intend to be happy or upbeat doesn’t mean that’s what actually happens.
This can cause some frustration. When you intend to create a good, positive environment for others, and it backfires on you, you’ll get frustrated. Your intentions were good, but something happens. Something always happens! And then you get frustrated with the very people that you intended to benefit, like your spouse, or your children, or your friends, or your coworkers. You react, and usually your reaction is not positive. Now, instead of being “great,” you actually say or do something that is not even in your character, and wind up with egg on your face.
It all began with good intentions.
The course with TrueFaced has shown me that a lot of our good intentions actually get in the way of trust. We don’t trust people for who they are, and we don’t trust them with who we are. But trust is so freeing! More on this next time. See you Thursday.