How to build an authentic faith community

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.— James 5:16

A cowboy was driving down a dirt road late one night in his pickup truck with his horse riding in the trailer behind. He failed to negotiate a curve and his truck tipped over and landed in a ditch, knocking the cowboy unconscious.

Several minutes later, he awoke to the flashing lights of a highway patrol officer. The officer walked up to the horse, saw his leg was broken, and did what only he could do. He pulled out his service revolver and put the horse out of his misery.

The cowboy heard everything and felt terrible about losing his horse. But more painful was what he felt from his own leg, which was surely broken. The officer walked up to the cowboy and asked, “Are you okay?”

The cowboy took a look at the smoking revolver in the trooper’s hands and quickly replied, “Never felt better!”

That story is a picture of a stark reality for many Christians. They walk around broken. And yet when they’re asked by a fellow believer how they’re doing, they put on their best Sunday school smile and say, “Good!”

The Christian life is meant to be lived among believers who are open and honest about what’s really going on. So don’t ever feel like you have to put on a happy face. Find someone you can trust, share what’s really going on, and you’ll build an authentic community of faith around you.

Prayer Challenge

Pray that God will help you to open yourself up to other believers and build an authentic community of faith with others.

Questions for thought

Why do you think it’s so difficult to take that first step of being very honest and sharing your hurts and struggles with someone?

Who is one person this week to whom you can open up and be honest about what’s going on in your life?