the weblog of Alan Knox

Sabado, el Cinco de Mayo

Posted by on May 6, 2007 in discipleship, edification, gathering, spirit/holy spirit, spiritual gifts | 8 comments

Last night, several friends once again joined us at our home. We’ve been meeting together with different friends on Saturday evenings to share a meal and to encourage one another and build one another up toward maturity in Christ. (If you are interested, here are a few posts that describe some of our other Saturday evening get-togethers: “Fellowship of Faith…“, “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night…“, “Another Saturday Night…“, “Saturday Night’s Alright for … Friends“, and “Saturday Night…“)

After eating and several very good conversations between small groups and individuals, we sang a few songs that some of the children suggested: “In Christ Alone” was first. Then, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we sang a few songs in Spanish. Then, a four year old led us in singing the chorus of “ABC” by the Jackson Five. That was a great moment!

Renata from “Nurturing Notes” asked the group a question she had asked on her blog: “How do you define ‘a good mother’?” I’ve always appreciated Renata’s honesty and openness as she shares her struggles as a mother of three young children. I gave my answer to her question: any person’s goodness is directly related to how they reflect God (see a more extensive answer in this comment on her blog). Leah, from “Our Payneful Memories“, shared some things that she learned while visiting Walt Disney World: some things about herself, and some things about other parents.

Another brother shared a teaching from Hebrews. I really appreciated this teaching. I could tell that he was teaching something that God was teaching him. He didn’t have all the answers, but he was asking questions, and God was answering him. For the most part, the teaching dealt with obedience. This turned out to be the theme for the remainder of the evening as we all talked about obedience from many different perspectives.

Toward the end of the evening, after some people had left (we don’t have an ending time), some of us continued talking… this time, we talked about grace. Specifically, do we truly understand grace? I know, for me, I often act externally in ways that are contrary to the way I feel internally. Sometimes I “fake” Christ-likeness in order to make other people think I am more mature that I really am. All the while, I know that this is not what I am truly like on the inside. Yes, I am maturing, but perhaps not as much as my “behavior” suggests. Am I the only one that does this? Well, according to my friends, I am not. Why do we do this? Perhaps we are afraid that others will not accept us as we really are, because we know that we would not accept someone who acted that way. Thus, we do not understand grace. Grace says that God accepts us as we are – and, he knows the truth, not the “fake behavior” that we show to other people. No, God does not leave us as we are, but He does meet us there. So, I need to understand grace more. I need to understand both the grace that God shows me, and the grace that I should show to others.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-6-2007

    Thank you for your comment. It has been my lament in recent years that I didn’t know an honest pastor. Eureka!! How refreshing to read your poat.

  2. 5-6-2007


    I wish Kati and I could have met with y’all last night. The good news is I got 9 out of 15 pages written for my paper. I plan on finishing it up sometime this afternoon/evening.

    Regarding this post: You are right, we very frequently “fake” maturity in Christ. I think this is one of the biggest problems we see in the institutionalized church. If you go there on Sunday morning, do your best to behave like a automaton, then everyone will think you are a good Christian.

    We do the same with our family and friends too. I guess it is kind of a defense mechanism – humanly speaking we do not want to appear to be vulnerable.

    Obviously though, we are not called to act as humans, but to act as Christ. We should look to Christ for affirmation, not man.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    God’s Glory,

  3. 5-6-2007


    I really wish we could have been there. One of the most difficult aspects of our lives right now is not being able to share in the life with a church family. We can’t wait to get back to NC to see you all!

  4. 5-6-2007

    Aussie John,

    I wish I were more honest and open with people. God is changing me in this. Thank you for the encouragement.


    We would have loved to have spent time with you and Kati again. We know that will happen in time.

    I think you are right about vulnerability. People can use what we say to hurt us. Are we willing to be hurt by those who are supposed to love us and accept us? I’m learning.


    Like I told Lew, we have loved for your family to be with us last night. That will happen in time, just as God will bring people into your lives just when you need it. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you soon.


  5. 5-6-2007

    This is a great post. It’s always refreshing to hear of others that are truly honest, open, and transparent. This is where true fellowship and ministry begins. If people see that you are genuine and willing to discuss your shortcomings openly, they are drawn to also be transparent with you, everyone benefits. I think this is especially important as a pastor but that goes against the common mindset of pastors today.

    Professional pastors that appear to be perfect often end up with churches full of “professional Christians” that also hide behind a mask every Sunday…Just following the example of their leaders.

    In a past place of service Heather and I were blessed to minister to other leaders in the church that felt safe being real with us. I believe this is because we were willing to be transparent with them. Conversely, they were unwilling to talk to other leaders about their problems and concerns for fear that they would be misunderstood or seen as unqualified to lead.

    I too believe that being paid for ministry is a major contributor to this problem. For what it’s worth it was the unpaid staff that saw us as safe to talk to…It was the paid staff that they were unwilling to be transparent with.

    Be blessed…

    BTW- I tagged you…again. :-)

  6. 5-6-2007


    I appreciate your comment. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences. I’m never sure what to share about our Saturday night meetings. There is always more to tell than what I tell. I’m glad this post seems to resonate with many people.


  7. 5-7-2007

    So here is a question. Define fakeness.

    Can fakeness be not acting upon your emotions and not letting them show because you know that they are ungodly and you are in the process of asking God to help you with them OR is fakeness going beyond that and telling people that those emotions do not exist.

    Let me be transparent. When you asked me how I was doing last night and I answered “fine” and then I caught myself and said that I was suffering from unbelief in God’s power to change people. I know the “fine” was fake; that is why I changed my answer. BUT was the fact that I was working very hard not to physically show my frustration and my unbelief fakeness?


  8. 5-7-2007


    That’s a good question. It’s not a question that I can answer for you. I don’t know when you’re faking. I do know that I love you and accept you even when you admit that things are going well. Maybe we can both learn how to live in God’s grace by being even more honest and transparent with one another.