It’s amazing what is found in the Docusen home during our annual Spring cleaning. That was what Monday of our Spring Break week consisted of today. Moving all the furniture, sweeping, mopping, dusting and creating piles of stuff to give away to friends and Salvation Army. Having four kids ages 10, 9, 7 & 5 always make days like today rather interesting and, sure enough, we found some real gems. 

The winner, by far, of most disgusting was the who-knows-how-old Kid Clif Bar that we found in the boys’ bedroom. Our youngest son, Ben, has a habit of “finishing” his breakfast by sneaking off and hiding his food. This particular breakfast bar was next to the vent on the floor under the dresser, melted and stubbornly gripping the 80+ year old wood floors. Our gag reflexes were seriously tested today.

I’m finding more and more that I have gag reflexes to things other than Ben’s hidden breakfast bars. It has to do with a lack of a genuine spirit. And I can feel it all the time…especially in the church. I long for our community at Center City Church to be genuine, honest and raw. Many times, that’s not the prettiest place to be. But it is real. And that’s the way I want to live my life. When I feel like we’re just putting on a show or worried about appearances in our church family, it’s like I’ve just stumbled upon a 4 month old Kid Clif Bar melted to my wood floor.

I just think that if we are going to truly say that we’ve committed our heart to Jesus, we should act like it when no one is looking. We should act like it when lots of people are looking. We should pursue him as much in quiet drives to work, walking through the city or teaching life lessons to our kids. Live with genuine expression of life, even if that is viewed as “too raw” by others. To be frank, I am not living for the approval of imperfect men and women, I’m living for the approval of God. He sees the motive of my heart, all of my imperfection and He chooses to love me just as I am. And He loves you that way, too.

I’m not perfect. And neither are you. I get frustrated and have to apologize to my wife and kids regularly.
I disappoint 
my friends and have to ask for grace. The most consistent thing about me many times
simply my inconsistency. But I’m learning to be comfortable with myself and all the flaws
that come along with being 
David Docusen. And Jesus is ok with me, too. 

If I am struggling, I need to be able to acknowledge that I am struggling. If I am full of doubt, I long for a community of friends that can deal with those doubts and navigate them with me. If I am about to take a huge step of faith, I want to hear a huge chorus of friends and family cheering me on, no matter how crazy it seems (and no matter the outcome).

We’re all in this together. We won’t agree on everything. But it is way more enjoyable if we just live genuinely. Take off the armor. Put your guard down. Sure, you’re going to take a few more arrows and collect a few more bruises. But you will also be truly living, not hiding behind a carefully crafted image of perfection that is impossible to sustain. Learn to be ok with being honest with yourself and others. That’s when you truly come alive and the beauty of a genuine relationship with Jesus makes sense.

Jesus didn’t come to save your public appearance, he came to redeem and heal your broken heart. 

This is what Jesus had to say to the religious, pompous leaders of his time that hid behind their carefully crafted public image.

**Matthew 23:25-26 –  “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites!
For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and
self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,
and then the outside will become clean, too.

Let’s choose to not be like these guys. Be genuine. Be raw. Be honest. Be you.