I was talking to someone awhile back and they asked the old question, “Hey, how are you doing?” Without much though I gave my usual response “Oh I’m good”. We talked briefly about superficial things and life in general, not really delving into any real details or substance. Anything remotely negative either wasn’t brought up or was brushed aside with its fine. I started thinking about it later and realized we do this all the time. We tell people everything is good when it’s not. We pretend to have our lives in order when in reality life is messy and oftentimes things aren’t fine. I think we become so accustomed to telling others that everything is good that we even start believing the lie ourselves, but that is the problem, it’s a lie. You may ask yourself, is it really a lie or is it really that bad? I would argue yes! Am I guilty of this too? Again, yes!
tells us that we shouldn’t let anything corrupt come out of our mouths. If we tell people we are good when we are not, that is a lie.
I have a dear friend who I am just starting to get to know better and I think she has it right on this. If you ask her how she is doing she will tell straight up how she is doing. She laughs and then apologizes saying she is an open book, but shouldn’t we all be more like that? In our society there seems to be some unwritten rule that we “don’t air our dirty laundry”. We don’t talk about the yucky stuff that may be going on in our lives and only show the bright side of things. Technology and social media only seem to amplify this. You log into Facebook or Instagram and see photos of perfect looking families in clutter free homes who appear to have it all together, but guess what they don’t. None of us are perfect and even those who look like they have it all together are truly struggling with something. I think this is so harmful not only to us as individuals, but to those around us as well.
Now don’t get me wrong,I don’t think we need to share every little detail of our personal lives with the cashier at the grocery store, but being honest when people ask us how we are doing is important. There is a song I really like by Matthew West called Truth Be Told. The first few lines go like this: “Lie number on you’re supposed to have it all together and when they ask how you’re doing just smile and tell them, “Never better”, Lie number two everybody’s life is perfect except yours, so you keep your messes and your wounds and your secrets behind closed doors”… We tell ourselves these lies all the time and we keep things bottled up. We need to have people that we can share our burdens with and that we can support them in their struggles as well.
As Christians we should be doing life together and supporting one another through the good and especially the bad. Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” It’s kind of difficult to do this when we don’t know what burdens others are struggling with. I have heard some churches refer to small groups as Life Groups and I think it’s kind of fitting. In reality we should be doing life together and that is sort of what small groups are about. I also don’t think we should ask how someone is without the expectation of an honest answer. Let’s do life together and support each other’s burdens and we really need to stop saying
“I’m fine” when we’re not.