F.I.N.E.

Read: Ephesians 3:14-21

The word “Fine” has generally become a default response in our culture for saying, “I really don’t want to talk about how I am really feeling right now.” Think about that. How many times have you really not been feeling too good and yet when you were asked that question you automatically responded with the word “Fine”? I know I am guilty.

I was at a pastors seminar recently in which the speaker was talking about how to handle hospital visits. There was a breakout time in which pastors were allowed to share their experiences with each other. It was interesting to hear how many people in the hospital respond with “fine” when in fact they were laying in a hospital bed.

One friend of mine commented by saying, “Many times when people respond that way it really stands for (F)rustrated, (I)rritable, (N)ervous, and (E)xhausted.” And yet people are often guarded about sharing those less than desirable feelings with each other.

That’s understandable, we don’t want to cast our negative feelings on others; and yet those “others” are maybe the ones whom God has sent to help you work through it. If you don’t share deeply with them they cannot share deeply with you.

In Ephesians 3:18 Paul says that we have power together with all the Lord’s people to understand how wide, long, high, and deep the love of Christ is for us. Sometimes we need to just be open and honest with fellow believers and realize that we all go through times that are not fine. In fact they are hard, trying, and miserable.

If we let someone know that we are struggling they can open up and share with us more deeply. They can encourage us as Paul encouraged the early church when he said, “Things may not be fine, but let me tell you about God’s incredible love for you. It can get you through this difficult time.”(my paraphrasing)

In the end we probably just need to be more honest and upfront with each other. Not to dampen someones day but to deepen our relationship with them. The truth is, sometimes we do feel fine, and sometimes we actually feel great, but lets be ready to help each other when the need is real and present.

Make it personal: Be observant in the next week or two about how many times you use the word “fine” or “good” when someone asks you how you are doing. Ask yourself if it is the truth or not. Then take steps to become more authentic and real with those who are close to you. They can be a vital help to bringing you back to “fine” and “great”.

Have a blessed week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church