Friday, February 18, 2005

I See Them all the Time

My church small group is still in the stages of getting to know one another, so I understand that I shouldn't expect it to be close-to ideal or perfect or anything like other amazing, communal-focussed small groups I've been apart of in the past, but...

The other night a girl from my church small group shared that she was starting some counseling courses offered through our church. After she finished telling us this, she shared how in a few weeks they would actually get to simulate with people in the class a biblical counseling session (mind you, the people in her class are all church members of our church). I chimed in, excited, and said how that was going to be so beneficial and shared how in one of my Fuller classes, we were doing something similiar. Each of us from my Wholeness class have to share our spiritual autobiography (containing all the dirt, and messed up parts of ourselves and our pasts) to our own small groups formed within the class. Then I explained how beneficial this was for me and how she'd really get a lot out of this, and that's when she interrupted me.

"I don't want to share my deepest, darkest secrets with these people though because they're from church---and I see them all the time!!!" She said it as if she could share it to non-church people but not to her friends she stood and worshipped with week after week, and this bothered me.

What is the problem here? Why is it that so many people our generation feel more comfortable sharing about their past to friends outside of the church then they do to people inside? 'Something is wrong with this picture' I thought.

However, I really can't blame my friend for saying what she did because in all honesty, I tend to think the same from time to time. It takes time to unlearn what American culture, legalism, broken families and religious judgmentalism teaches us Christians today. So much of it is unconciously learned that we don't even see ourselves guilty of what we tend to preach against. And if it weren't for grace, I don't think I'd even bother trying to unlearn anything taught in the name of Christian religion.

Sad? Yes. True? Yes. Hopeless?

I hope not.
Happy Weekend!


Chalupa said...

I totally know what you're talking about. It is a lot easier to be open with somebody you don't know because you don't have to "keep up appearances" with them and they don't know you. It's sad, but it's true.

Anonymous said...

Sad, yes, but it doesn't have to be true.

My husband and I ended up leaving a church after 12 years because we realized it had gotten to the point that we didn't really know who anyone was anymore. We all spent so much time trying to look right and act right and be perfect that we lost all connection.

We have found a new church where it's acceptable to have struggles, and not to have everything all together all the time. We pray for each other, and support each other, and we have found ourselves growing so much more in the last 8 months than in the previous 8 years.