Fault Lines

Article written by Aaron Robertson

We all have them, those cracks in the foundation that we come into the world with (Psalm 51:5). We carry our fault lines with us everywhere we go in spite of our best attempts to project another image. Sin just has a way of sticking to our hearts and souls and lives even when we try to hide it.

The image we project on social media usually doesn’t amount to much more than putting lipstick on a pig. The funny thing is that we can easily buy into the “pretty” pigs we see around us. ‘Of course other people have better looks, better kids, better homes, better lives. Facebook shows me so.’

I think there is an additional temptation for believers. As followers of Christ we sometimes feel like we, of all people, ought to have things together. With God at work in our lives, with such deep promises of joy, peace, holiness, and everything else the Spirit gives us, we make the mistake of thinking this means we need to look good to others.

Can we be honest for a second and drop the pretension?

Each of us carries hurts and brokenness that we would prefer the world not see. The fault lines run deep enough that we can rest assured there is no earthly fix for them. Only Jesus can bring that kind of healing.

The watching world doesn’t need for us to look good. It needs for Jesus to look good. Our pretending our lives are better than they are gets in the way of that.

I’ve come face to face with the reality that I, and most others, walk around trying to hide or minimize both our finite-ness and our fallen-ness. On top of our sinfulness we are limited by time, space, energy, and many other things.

When we should ask for help we instead feel shame as if our burdens were our own choosing.

Instead of feeling sorrow over the ways sin (our own and others) has caused us pain we carry guilt, feeling like damaged goods.

Fear of being exposed as something other than what we want others to think about us prevents us from ever showing up with our whole selves.

I don’t want to advocate for a bare-it-all, just let your sin hang out kind of lifestyle. There is a measure of discernment needed in our disclosure and in the ways our brokenness gets dealt with.

Still, what I want, what I truly long for is for follower’s of Christ to live out 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 in a fresh way.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness.” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”

The passage begins with a reminder of Genesis 1: “let light shine out of darkness.” The Genesis account of God’s creation of everything displays that he holds the all the power. This puts us clearly in the category of being created and finite.

The ‘jars of clay’ phrase that comes next is a reiteration of the same thought that God holds all the power. He creates and he fills and he uses as he sees fit. It is about him and his ability to bring light out of darkness.

The miracle of bringing light out of darkness in Genesis 1 is mirrored in the second bringing of light into darkness that happens in the hearts and lives of those who have seen Christ’s glory.

When we hide our fault lines, when we pretend we have it more together than we really do we are robbing God of his glory. We are trying to take the miracle of his light-in-the-darkness creativity and make it our own.

There is healing to be found in being broken and in being a jar of clay. The saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” means we leave working things alone. It also means that if we can’t admit something is broken we can’t seek the healing we need.

Let those fault lines and failures be seen and known. Not proudly, nor in celebration, but in humility because they are what God will use to shine light in the darkness.

Charges of hypocrisy ring true when Christians hide or deny those failings. When we can live with them, confess them, repent of them, and bear one another’s burdens with them we allow “the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” to be seen in our lives.

We get no glory but God gets praise and just maybe our fault lines will begin to be healed. That should be enough for our hearts.

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