There is this new saying in the church makes me insane. The first time I noticed it I was driving down a road in Florida and it was in huge letters on flags flapping in the wind. I couldn't figure out right away why it bothered me so much.
I didn't think much more of it, until I saw it again at another church. The idea was catching on, and my insanity defense was growing stronger. I moved 1500 miles away from this slogan. Out of sight, out of mind….but no “BOOM” it followed me…and “BOOM” I can't hold it in any longer.
Churches, please stop telling people,
It's okay to not be okay.
There is the counselor side of me that says, “Yes, everyone has permission to admit their faults and not be perfect. Yes, if you are having a crummy day or a crummy few days, it will all be okay.”
But then there is this thing in me that says, “No, this trendy slogan is not the message of the Gospel.”
This saying “it's okay to not be okay” perpetuates the American, self-centered approach to Christianity: it's all about me.
As I dig through the Gospel, I don't see Jesus walking around during his ministry saying this to people just to get them to listen to him. Actually, quite the opposite. He said things like :
“Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ( Jn3:3)
“Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!” (Jn2:16)
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks off that water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (Jn 4:13-14)
“Do you want to be made well? … Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (Jn 5:6,8)
Jesus never seemed to give permission to dwell in our sin, or to live a victimized life. Jesus never once told the woman at the well, it's okay that you're not okay. What he actually said was: I know you're not okay, and you need me to fix that.
After Jesus left the earth, Peter preached the first sermon. The Apostles words to everyone were not it's okay that you struggle, it's okay that you are filled with sin. Peters words were:
“Repent and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38).
Jesus knows our struggles, and he knows them intimately and personally. But we are wrong to preach a message of dwelling in our suffering. Jesus himself is the message of Hope and offers Freedom from not being okay. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:39)
His Promise is that when you are not okay, call on Him, he will Free you.
“Where the Spirit off the Lord is, there is freedom.” (II Cor 3:17)