Better then, to be upfront about our problems. Churches, especially, ought to be places where brutal honesty is possible. Too often, though, they are places where the truth is hidden: we want people to think that we’re on the spiritual path to glory, not hurting, depressed, angry, and panicked.
God’s first word — the Law — comes into our lives, not to give us the road map out of our struggles, but to magnify them to the point where they become impossible to handle on our own. Casual Friday and a company paintball trip only mask the issues; they don’t solve them. In fact, as Burkeman argues, they only serve to make us feel worse. We need God’s second word — the Gospel, the Good News about Jesus Christ — to break through the impossibility of our human problem. We don’t need to be encouraged to get out of our depression; we need to be given joy. We don’t need to be cajoled out of our anxieties, we need to be given peace.
The Good News of the gospel is that, in Christ, we have been.
Tullian Tchividjian is a South Florida native, Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, a visiting professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, and grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham. He is the founder of LIBERATE (liberatenet.org), a bestselling author, a contributing editor to Leadership Journal, and a popular conference speaker. Tullian and his family reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Follow Tullian on twitter at: @pastortullian.