Plastic People Syndrome

Today I’m posting another one from a couple of years ago. Why have I been re-posting so much lately? A couple of reasons. First of all, I haven’t had a lot of concentrated writing time lately. And second, as I moved my blog over from Blogger to WordPress, I looked over my posts and realized that  I learned some good lessons along the way while writing some of my older posts. So… here is today’s… a lesson from Casting Crowns. I have edited this one quite a bit because of MORE lessons I’ve learned in this area since. You can read the original here.

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Casting Crowns has a song for just about anything you may go through in life. An example of this is Stained Glass Masquerade. My friends and I have lovingly referred to this one as “the plastic people song.” In thinking about the words, I make a mess of it myself.

Here are the lyrics (with special emphasis on certain parts):

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin’ so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they’ll soon discover
That I don’t belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything’s okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation’s open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who’s been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who’s traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay

(back to chorus)

Isn’t this so true? We go to church with our painted-on smiles. We make sure we look our best (sidenote… honestly, aren’t we doing that to impress man instead of God?). We answer “fine” to “how are you?” I remember one day, I responded with a “fine” and then I turned around to a friend of mine and said, “why did I say that?” I wasn’t fine. We assume that everyone else is too consumed with their own problems to really care what may be going on with us. So in turn, we miss out on true blessings of deep, meaningful relationships.

In reality, we are ALL BROKEN PEOPLE! None of us are perfect. So why do we want to pretend we are? Why do we want people to think we have it all together? Think about it‚Ķ if the world only sees people who appear perfect, and they see themselves as imperfect, what does that tell them? They come into the church and think they need to hide behind their own walls… and then they disappear through the cracks because they just don’t feel like they could ever measure up.

People want to see authenticity. Transparency. People who love them where they are because they have been there.

Hurting people and God seekers don’t want to find the perfect church, the perfect outfits, the perfect worship “box”… they don’t want the perfect anything.

Hurting people want something real. And if they can’t find it in the church, they’ll try to find it somewhere else.

Ready for God to really use you? Let others see your scars (old ones and new ones)… Scary at first, I know. But as I’ve heard Rick Warren say (paraphrasing), I believe that our greatest hurts, disappointments, failures, and struggles are what God uses as our greatest ministries. And you just might find that as you share with others, you will continue to heal in the process.

So, let’s not end up like this Casting Crowns song. Let’s be real!

3 Comments

  1. LOVE this post! It is exactly what I strive to do in my own life. I don't ever want the world to look at my and believe that I've got it all together. Sometimes someone just needs to hear me say, "I've been there too," It's okay to admit our struggles and failures to each other, in fact I think it is healthy. Maturity teaches us that. If I can let some of my own monumental failures or weaknesses be a way to minister truth to another, so be it.

    Reply
  2. Great reminder. I think once we discover that authenticity leads to freedom then we never wish to go back to faking and pretending…it's an exhausting way to live!

    Reply
  3. LOVE this post! It is exactly what I strive to do in my own life. I don't ever want the world to look at my and believe that I've got it all together. Sometimes someone just needs to hear me say, "I've been there too," It's okay to admit our struggles and failures to each other, in fact I think it is healthy. Maturity teaches us that. If I can let some of my own monumental failures or weaknesses be a way to minister truth to another, so be it.

    Reply

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