I’ve gone through a dry and difficult time recently. If you’re like me, you try and hide it. From the outside looking in, all should appear well. I have a job. I’m in school. I lead people and talk to groups of people. I have a great family. I have lots of friends. If you look at my Instagram, my life looks exciting. Why, then, do I feel so dry?
There’s the obvious question asked in Christian circles. How are you and Jesus? My friend Micah said to me recently, “The longer you believe in God, the better you get at faking intimacy with Jesus. In fact, your fake is better than some people’s real.” That hit me. I’m a master at being fake. I cover up all my emotions, hurt, and struggle to paint some picture of my ideal self.
What a tragedy to spend our days as actors in our own lives.
Jesus was so about other people. I’ve realized I’m not. Most of my relationships are business exchanges. We talk about work and every now and then life comes up. I don’t invest in people like Jesus did. I don’t ask hard questions or have deep conversations very often. I accidentally programmed myself like an ATM. I deposit in people out of obligation. My parents so they will feel happy. My friends so they think I will care. I withdraw selfishly without realizing I’m already bankrupt.
Intimacy with Jesus, life feeling full, means looking at who Jesus was. Jesus was someone who loved people. Do you reach out to people? Do you ask tough questions? Are your friendships meaningful? Is your life full? Or, are you an actor with “fake-deep-friendships”? If you’re like me, upon a closer look, it seems I’m missing it.
Fake, figured out lives are so opposite from the message of the gospel. We are empty, but Jesus satisfies our emptiness. People truly do matter. Faking it only works for so long. Jesus is enough.
When our lives begin to look like obligatory obligations with people, it’s no wonder we feel so empty. If our lives are overrun with people who love us, who sharpen us, and who point us to Jesus, I think we will see that while life is not easy, it is good, and it is worth it.
What do your relationships look like?