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A critical condition for growth - being real

In any area of life, real progress, growth or improvement  usually requires a recognition that things are not as they should be - they are lacking, broken, wrong, abusive, unwell etc. etc.  One of the ironies of being followers of Jesus is that discipleship is supposed to lead to growth, wholeness, health, increasing goodness etc and yet  churches often become places where it is hard to acknowledge that things are not as they should be thus preventing the growth, healing and change that we require.  Often there is a subtle pressure to appear to be OK.  I'm not sure whether this  comes from us being self righteous and others picking it up or us not wanting to be open about our shortcomings for fear of rejection or ridicule by the group.  Maybe we don't have enough safe places and relationships where we can be real .

In other areas of our life we seem to be ok with the process - our car isn't working and we go and talk to the mechanic about it or we are unwell and we go and talk about it with a doctor (OK I admit it, men usually only go after much proding).

Maybe we need to rehabilitate the practice of confession - not in a formal ritualistic way - but in a way that helps us be real and then get the help, support and prayer that will lead to renewal.

What are your thoughts?

David Wanstall, 13/03/2008