A Clarifying Statement
Have you ever had that situation where you say something, and you know what you meant, and you think it was right and good, but then you realize, that maybe it needs more explanation? Because left to itself, it could actually do something other than what it was intended to do? Okay, maybe that doesn’t happen to you, but it happens to me.
This last Sunday, I mentioned that when others share their hope with us, it is encouraging and it increases our hope/faith. And I mentioned that the inverse is true-that when we experience a lack of hope or faith, that it discourages our own. I think that’s true, we have all experienced that. But I think this is what needs to be attached to it–this doesn’t mean that when our faith and hope is lacking that we should hide it or keep it to ourselves or that our wrestling with lacking faith and hope is a bad thing. The intent was to highlight the pulling away that results from it, the shrinking back, etc. We all have doubts, our faith and hope waiver and we need to express that and we need to allow others to express that to us. And we need to listen with empathy, encouragement and support. It gives us an opportunity to share the load, to share some of our hope and faith with the other. And if we are the ones struggling with hope or lacking faith, we need to feel free to be vulnerable about that, with a desire to have our hope restored. This is the opposite of pulling away, it is a moving towards. It is hard work, but it is beautiful work and in it, we discover the hope of the Gospel.
I apologize to anyone who may have felt confused or troubled by that statement and I hope that this helps you to see my heart.