How are you today?
How is life?
How has school been?
How is your relationship?
How is your health lately?
How is your family?
How have you been sleeping?
How is your walk with the Lord?
Fine. I'm fine.
While in society, we use this word often, are we ever really as fine as we like to portray? When we respond to these questions, are we really fine, or are we hiding behind our inner and true emotions. The definition of the word fine is "superior or best" or "of high or highest grade". When we answer fine to one another, are we really in our highest self in that moment?
Two weeks ago, my aunt was diagnosed with her second form of cancer, and let me tell you...I was far from fine. Her first cancer was breast cancer, and this time was a rare case of mantle cell lymphoma... For so long when friends who knew about the diagnosis would ask me "how are you", I would respond with a basic, "I am fine". I did that for a few days until one day I realized...I was not fine, and I needed to be sharing my burdens with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
In Galatians 6:2-5, Paul writes " Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load". As a society, we have come to this absurd idea that we should just bottle up all our emotions and pretend that they do not exist. If you were going to church, you had to pretend that your life was together--because you're a Christian, and clearly, that means that your life is perfect. Let me express something to you all, that is a lie. Life is not perfect. Life is messy and there is not one moment in every single day that something has not bothered me. Emotions were created by God for a reason, and that is to glorify Him.
In Genesis 1: 27 the verse states "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them". God created us in His image, and without flaw. "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good..." (Genesis 1:31 A). That means, every crazy, mixed up emotion we have, God gave to us. When we deny the ability to have a fellow brother or sister walk in our struggles with us, we are denying the opportunity for growth; growth in ourselves and growth from those surrounding us.
When you have come through your struggles and you have recognized the beauty of that struggle, you are fully able to express the love of Christ. When we deny what we are feeling, we deny what He has given us. When we deny Christ, we deny the command for others to love us and to help carry our burdens.
While being a follower of Christ is by far the greatest gift on this Earth, this concept does not just apply to Christians. I see many non-believers who struggle with guarding their hearts and feelings as well. The same idea applies. When you protect your emotions, you miss the opportunity to grow with someone who can help you--someone who can help carry your burdens.
I can understand letting your guards down is by far one of the scariest and most raw acts we can do in society. By avoiding the emotions we have, we only hurt ourselves. When we use the word "fine" in these situations, we do not allow people to see our struggles and see who the "real you" is. I get it. Showing who you are is scary, but is it not more rewarding to walk with someone in a relationship, whether that be a friendship or friendship, having them know who you feel? But would you rather be fine or in pain but walking through the pain with someone who knows your struggling and is helping you. I don't know about you, but I will take a beautiful struggle with those who care for me over being fine and alone any day.