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Spiritual Training Cycle: Connection (wk. 12/13)

Imagine this: the workout is over. You’re lying on the ground, completely spent. You felt like it went well. Someone comes and asks, “How many rounds?” “Six plus 22,” you reply. “Wow, you crushed that,” they say, impressed. Word gets around the gym. You knew it was in your wheelhouse, but you really crushed it. You enter your score and head home. Later, you check the leaderboard; you’re still on top. Then, you re-read the workout… You skipped the second run every round. Now what? Do you pull your score down? Text your buddy, and tell him the truth? Just let it ride cause you know there will be another workout tomorrow?

Do missed reps, shaved reps, and half reps truly matter in the grand scheme of things?

Only really if you lie about it.

The Scripture this week is a weird one, a shocking one. Imagine this: a wealthy man and his wife hear about Jesus and commit their lives to follow him and his new community, the Church. People start abandoning their wealth. Selling their big homes, businesses, and more, they give the money to the church and allow the new community to disperse to help widows, orphans, and the infirmed. It’s exciting, and it seems like every week, another person is pledging huge sums of money to help the poor, all in the name of Jesus. So inspired are the man and his wife that they sell a plot of land and take the money to give to the church. But not before pocketing half. This is not the problem, though. It becomes an issue when he takes the money to the church leaders and tells them he is giving them all the money. The Apostles, prompted by the Holy Spirit, give him a chance to tell the truth. He doubles down on the lie – then drops dead. A few hours later, his wife does the same thing and suffers the same fate.

If you’re like most people, you’re asking yourself, ‘Why did this happen?’

The answer is simple: Pretense kills community. And community is God’s design for the growth of humanity.

Honesty is the currency of community. This is why shaving reps is such a major crime in the gym. Not because people are mad you beat them. They’re angry because they can’t trust you. The need to be seen as a winner, always having it together or never appearing weak, is the absolute death of the community. It tells others that you’re not going to show up as yourself. That this co-unity isn’t real. That your priority isn’t the team but your image.

Honesty, on the other hand, shows up big for community. When you’re real and honest, you invest in the unity you share with others. You’re giving permission for others to bring their authentic self, to be known and accepted. That’s when the walls come down and people not only share more of who they are, they realize the community they’re in is a safe space to be vulnerable because they see others doing the same. Vulnerability is some of the best honesty you’ll ever share. And it’s a currency that strengthens and unites communities.

Questions for Reflection:

When has dishonesty destroyed a relationship or community you care about?

We are most tempted to lie, fake it, and bend the truth when community is on the line. How do you show up as your authentic self in those situations?

Who models honesty in your community?

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