Spiritual Life Development

No More Faking Fine – Book Review

No More Faking Fine
by Esther Fleece

Many of us have the misconception that if we just push hard enough, smile long enough, speak glowing phrases enough, that we will be able to bypass pain.  If we do, we will never live the fullness that God has for us.  Christians often quote Philippians 3:10, but only in part.  We echo the sentiments of Paul when he said, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection….”, while leaving off the crucial second half of the verse, “…and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”  Sometimes our Christian beliefs mingle with the ways of the world, and during pain and suffering, we feel we best represent Christ when we “suck it up.”  The Lord desires that we take hold of all of life to give him glory, including pain, suffering, woundedness, and, yes, …even death.

In her book, No More Faking Fine (with the subtitle Ending the Pretending) author Esther Fleece speaks of the lost discipline of lament.  Lament is God’s way of giving voice to hurt, frustration, and disappointment that should not be silenced.  If lament is silenced, we are not representing Christ in His fullness of a life on earth.  Appropriate lamenting, as outlined for us in God’s Word, can guide us to walk “through the valley of the shadow of death…” (Psalm 23:4) in such a way that we can honor God through the darkness while strengthening our souls.  God has no intention for us to live forever in grief and sorrow; therefore, it is vital to learn how to lament.  Without lament, there is no joy!  If we learn God’s way to identify our pain and sorrow, sit with it in God’s presence, we will eventually be able to say with the psalmist, “The deepest pains may linger through the night, but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.” (Psalm 30:5, VOICE)

The author, through her seasons of suffering and knowledge of the Word, helps us to identify the pain, give ourselves permission to lament and find a new way to pray, using scripture as our foundation to journey through our woundedness to find hope beyond the lamentation.

God wants to meet us where we are and not where we pretend to be.  To set aside performing, put away our (and other’s) expectations and stop striving.  God wants you to know His deep love for you and help you get “unstuck” from the weight and burden of the sorrow you may be carrying.

 

For more on Lament, check out our lament series

 

 

written by Major Lauren Hodgson, Spiritual Life Development, USA East

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