The work of God in our lives is intended to heal and transform us, all leading to a greater maturity. He wants to raise up sons and daughters who know who they are and progressively grow into who He made them to be.
But let's be honest ...we can all be a bit goofy. At times, we can manifest some real flakiness in our lives.
The good news is that God patiently works with all of us in our transformational journey. But it would be wise to become aware of some areas where we can confront certain hindrances that may be getting in the way of our greater potential.
We often cover up our brokenness with certain masks. Some of those masks can portray a spiritual presentation of maturity that is inaccurate. It is often a cover up for brokenness that has never been addressed.
What we claim to possess can often be a fabricated message that lacks vulnerability and authenticity.
It reminds me of when Jesus called the church to admit its current state and get back into a real relationship with God.
"For you say, 'I am rich, and have stored up goods, and have need of nothing,' yet do not realize that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:17).
I would define a "flaky Christian" as someone who portrays a spirituality that is actually a cover for the broken areas of the heart that are being neglected. You present a mask of maturity while important matters of wholeness are not being tended to.
We can all fall into it. But when we humble ourselves, put our guards down and move into a more authentic journey, we can find a great deal of freedom and relief in the lifestyle of authenticity.
Even though I am writing this in a slightly "tongue in cheek" fashion, there are aspects to what I am sharing that should also be sobering to each of us.
Here are some signs you might be a "flaky Christian":
- You don't follow through with your word. Over time, people cannot take what you say seriously, because there is a chronic pattern of you not following up with what you say. It lessens the power of your words.
Flaky Christians declare with great exuberance that they are going to do something great. Their declarations sound wonderful, but they never follow through with action.
You say you'll join a church, group or but then you don't, without ever having a follow-up conversation. You'll say you'll be there, but you don't show up. You make grandiose declarations about what God has called you to, but you're not doing anything today that relates to that journey.
This word is not meant to condemn, but to awaken our senses. These patterns actually cheapen our words and therefore, dampen the quality of our impact on others.
To break this flaky pattern, we need to first get clear on our "yes" and our "no."
- You say "The Lord told me" every other sentence. One of the top ways people can cover up their brokenness is with a hyperspirituality that makes it appear that you have an inside scoop with God, in a way that draws attention to yourself. It comes across like God deposits end-times revelatory treasure chests to you every three seconds.
Does God speak to us? Absolutely! Will He speak to you! Yes. Does He do it all the time? I believe so.
Here is the problem. When you say, "The Lord told me" or "God told me" every three seconds, you build an impenetrable wall around your life. If you say, "God told me," how can I refute anything you say after that?
In the counsel and witness of other believers who are able to speak truth into our lives, we can gain a greater sense of how to hear from God while addressing our personal blind spots.
Let's be honest: If you look at the trail of every time you've said the phrase "God told me" or "the Lord told me" or the "Holy Spirit told me," many of those statements had inaccuracies.
- You speak in grandiose ways about your relationship with God, but your relationship with others is terrible. The greatest impact we display is the love we have for others and the quality of fruit our lives leave behind.
True spirituality is measured by your ability to enhance your relationship grid. If you claim to have a high level of spirituality, but can't carry a conversation or maintain relationships, then what good does this spirituality carry?
The greatest places of growth are shown in how we are able to interact with the people around us.
- Your church history looks like the Oregon Trail. In the old days, we used to call it "church hopping." Now more than ever, this pattern is manifesting in all kinds of ways. With a flaky Christian, their church pattern resembles some of their overall relational patterns.
Here's the heart issue: when you church hop or friend hop, you have an intimacy issue. There is a struggle to let people discover the real you and get close to you.
During my pastoring years, I discovered that of the people who left, most of them departed just as we were getting close. The intimacy, closeness and vulnerability are terrifying for people, especially those who have abandonment issues. Unless abandonment in your history is healed, getting close to anyone is going to be challenging.
- You cannot hear instruction or feedback from a close leader or friend. Everyone will be limited by how well they are able to hear wisdom, instruction or helpful feedback from those close to them.
Most churches, ministry teams and businesses are limited by how well the relationships can be honest and give helpful feedback. They are often limited by the "don't go there" subjects that people carry.
Are you able to hear feedback? Can those close to you provide insight in a way that sharpens you? If not, you may have some flakiness God needs to heal.
- There is little focus to what you are involved in. One of the signs of woundedness and brokenness in our hearts is the manifestation of confusion, double-mindedness or even chaotic disarray. As you begin to live out the healing journey, one great way to experience that is to resolve to gather your focus and narrow down your focus.
I encourage those I do personal coaching work with to live out of greater intentionality, to have a focus to each step you are taking. If you feel confusion over your life, know that God is not authoring it.
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace" (1 Cor. 14:33a).
So, if we clear out the confusion, peace is the result. In that peace, we can move with greater intentionality.
Another term for focus is "single-mindedness." Double-mindedness opens us up for confusion and a lack of focus. James teaches us that wisdom will come to those who ask for it and remain single-minded in their journey.
- You're immersed in ministry but your family doesn't know you. For a long time, church leaders and business people pursued their passionate calling, yet neglected to realize their first calling is in their home.
I know of those in high influence who basically thought, "God I am called to ________, so you will have to take care of my family."
I've helped numerous people who grew up in a ministry or pastor's home and grew up with a sense of conflict. What they heard and saw on stage was different from what they heard and saw at home.
Though this mindset is being reversed, we still have a lot of work to do. Your first ministry is in your home. Everything should flow out of that.
- Your bedroom is a mess. When I speak of this, I am really talking about your house being in order. But sometimes maturity begins with cleaning your room and developing habits or order in your living space.
Can you invite people to your home and host them? I didn't ask if you had an expensive home or fancy furniture.
We can easily neglect the little things like a clean room, because no one really sees it. There is no applause there. So, we often wake up and invest in the things people will see while neglecting many of the simple things right in front of us that need attention.
My exhortation to you? Many times, the jewels of growth and maturity are found in the simple things in front us ... the relationships around us and the environment we cultivate.
Mark DeJesus has served as an experienced communicator since the 1990s. As a teacher, author, transformational consultant and radio host, Mark is deeply passionate about awakening hearts and equipping people towards personal transformation. He is gifted in helping people address the core issues that become limitations to their God-given identity and destiny. He is the author of numerous books and hundreds of teachings. Mark and his wife host a weekly online show called "Transformed You," and he writes at markdejesus.com. His articles have been featured on sites like CharismaMag.com and Patheos.com. Mark and his wife Melissa enjoy each other and their precious children, Maximus and Abigail.
For the original article, visit markdejesus.com.
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