by Rick Warren — December 8, 2022
From Building Character
“No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:25 (GNT)
Real change requires honest community.
There are some things that you will never be able to change on your own. You’re going to need people in your life for support—specifically, a small group of people who will be transparent and authentic with you.
Sometimes in a football game, a player is so big that no opposing player can pull him down on his own. In the same way, some of the challenges in your life have to be team-tackled.
That’s when you need a small group—but not just any group of people. Your small group should be made up of a few people you can talk with about your weaknesses and problems—all your hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
That kind of intimacy doesn’t happen right away. When you first start a small group, you get together regularly. Then, over time, you begin to trust each other and develop a safe environment. Those people become the friends who can help you change when you can’t change on your own.
Ephesians 4:25 says, “No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ” (GNT).
When you pretend to be someone you’re really not, you waste an enormous amount of energy.
You may sincerely want to grow in Christ and to work on your weaknesses. But to do that, you have to be honest with your small group about who you really are. That kind of honesty is essential for spiritual change. If you could change on your own, you would, but you can’t—so you don’t. You need other people!
One thing that keeps most people from being honest is their desire to look good. Your desire to look good often takes precedence over being good. And it becomes a hurdle to spiritual growth.
But in a small group of other believers, you’re safe just to be yourself. Then you can grow together and make the hard changes you couldn’t make on your own.