Looking for Honesty Not Perfection

In my sermon this morning, I talked about our need to be honest with ourselves and each other at church. On Twitter this evening I found Shane Claiborne thinking (and tweeting) along the same lines. First, he tweeted:

People are not looking for Christians who are perfect … they are looking for Christians who are honest. [1]

Two minutes later, he followed that up with a response I am going to have to remember for future use:

When people tell me that the Church is full of hypocrites… I say: “No, it’s not … we always have room for more.” [2]

This is a great response because Christians are hypocrites, we do indeed fail to live up to our ideals, but that’s just part of being human. Anyone who manages to always live up to their ideals has set the bar pretty low. And it is an even better response if it can be said with a tone that conveys the fact that we’re not claiming to be any better than anyone else, but rather admitting we’re screw-ups just like everybody else.

We’re screw-ups, but we’re not content to stay that way. As Christians our ideals are set very high:

This is Church: A bunch of imperfect people falling in love with a perfect God,,, and trying to become more like the God we love, every day. [3]

We want to become more like the perfect God we love, but because we are fallen, sinful, and screwed up we’re going to fail some, perhaps most, of the time. We keep on trying again and again because the only way to avoid failure is to give up entirely and that’s not an option God has left us.


[1] Shane Claiborne. Twitter post, May 27, 2016, 10:21 p.m., https://twitter.com/ShaneClaiborne.
[2] Shane Claiborne. Twitter post, May 27, 2016, 10:23 p.m., https://twitter.com/ShaneClaiborne.
[3] Shane Claiborne. Twitter post, May 27, 2016, 10:32 p.m., https://twitter.com/ShaneClaiborne.