Wouldn't it be nice if, with your church folks, you could REALLY be yourself? I mean if each church member was the kind of person who was so critical of his own faults that he hardly noticed other people's? You could let your hair down a bit around them. If you lost your temper for a moment in front of them, you wouldn't worry yourself about how it might change how they think of you. For example, you were a bit over aggressive in correcting one of your children or snapped at your wife or threw a golf club out of frustration over your performance. You could keep hanging out with them knowing they would be just as warm toward you and respectful of you as they were before. Wouldn't that be nice? They would think, "Bless his heart! But I bet he doesn't struggle with his temper any more than I struggle with _________________" How much energy do we waste pretending? Pretending we have model marriages. Pretending we have no anger issues. Pretending we read our bibles and pray a great deal. Pretending we are very mature Christians. Pretending to love people more than we really do. I'm afraid most churches really are just plays we put on every week. It is not real. Rather than being ourselves and letting people see how Christ is very slowly making us more and more like him, we play act. We hold our wives' hands in front of everybody when we do it rarely when we are by ourselves with our wives. Airs. We are saying, "LOOK EVERYBODY!!! Look at how wonderful a husband I am!!" Airs. We act like we don't watch certain shows on TV because we have a such a terrible aversion to the three or four cuss words in every episode. Airs. We are saying, "LOOK EVERYBODY!! Look at how spiritually sensitive and holy I am!!!" We act like we are so busy because the work place and the family requires so much of our time, when we spent as much time last month watching TV or fishing or hunting or playing video games as we did at work. Airs. We are saying, "LOOK EVERYBODY!! Behold what a hard worker I am!!!" And why do we do that? Because we deny the doctrine of human depravity. If we really believed it- that we were all born sinners and struggle with it until we die then we would not feel so compelled to pretend. And even if we believe in the doctrine ourselves, we figure most of the other church members don't so we pretend so they won't think bad of us and talk bad about us. I'm not advocating we all become confessors. The Bible says, "The fool utters all his mind." I don't think you ought to go around telling everybody every sin you've committed. I just think you ought to be able to be yourself around fellow church members because you know they are so critical of their own selves that they don't see your faults as any big deal in comparison.