Whitewashed Christianity

April 17, 2017 |
whitewashed christianity

I walked into church Easter morning feeling more like a whitewashed tomb than a temple of the Living God.

Have you ever felt like that?

Pretty on the outside, but just full of junk on the inside?

It seems like the older I get, the less I enjoy holidays. Going to church on Sunday is just what we do. It felt pretty normal. Sure, we ate breakfast with our church family, and the kids had an egg hunt. Our pastor preached about the resurrection. But all in all, it felt like a pretty normal day.

Which made me feel even worse on the inside.

Does Easter ever feel like just another day? If so, it's not just you… Click To Tweet

I looked around and saw all the people in their beautiful Easter clothes and wondered how many felt the same way I did. I wondered if I was the only one who had failed to stand in awe and celebrate deep within my soul.

This was the day we celebrated the cornerstone of our faith. Jesus died for our sins, but He didn’t stop there. He rose to give us new life.

And yet, my mind was a million different places.

Have you ever felt more like a whitewahsed tomb than a temple of the living God?

I believe the message of Easter to the very core of my being, but sometimes life is hard. It weighs on me. I let the stress of it pollute my soul.

But that’s why I am so thankful for the message of Easter.

The Message of Easter

Even while I was sitting in church feeling like a whitewashed tomb, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the only tomb that really matters is the tomb of Jesus. And while my tomb might be full of decay, His was found empty.

Jesus died because He knew we would never be perfect. He died because He knew we could never live a life free from sin. Because the wages of sin is death, He died because He knew we would need a Savior.

And then He rose.

He rose so we could live. So we could be free from the chains of sin. So that we could have a life full of hope.

Jesus died and rose for us. For me and for you.

Related Post: What Good Friday Means To Me

His death and resurrection aren’t dependent on our feelings, they are unchanging facts. He is a rock that isn’t swayed when we have bad days. When we get stressed out, He remains the same.

That’s the message I needed reminded of Easter morning.

Easter isn't a feeling, it's a fact.

I needed reminded that even when I’m feeling whitewashed, the truth of the gospel doesn’t change.

Whitewashed Christianity

Christians aren’t perfect. I tend to be brutally honest about my failures because I don’t want to be whitewashed. I don’t want someone to look at me and think I have it all together, because the truth of it is that I get through most days each day by the grace of God.

While I might manage to dress up in high heels and make it to church on time (sometimes), those things aren’t what make me a Christian. We can’t put on a “good Christian” mask or slip on “Christianity shoes” and be okay. True Christianity comes from the cross.

Jesus died and rose for us - His death and resurrection aren't dependent on our feelings, they are unchanging facts. #GiveMeJesus

Romans 10:9 (ESV) says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

That’s what Christianity is about. It’s not about having a good day every day. It’s not about celebrating Easter on a certain day in a specific way. Christianity isn’t about wearing the right clothes, saying the right words, or doing the right things. It’s about Jesus.

One Important Difference

I guess I’m learning that the world is full of whitewashed Christians. But they are firmly separated into two different groups. Those that look like Christians on the outside, but have hearts that are far from Jesus. And those who look like Christians on the outside, but are still dealing with a bunch of junk on the inside, even though they are head over heels in love with Jesus.

One type of whitewashed Christianity will lead to Hell, the other is probably more common than we know. Both types of Christians need Jesus, whether they realize it or not.

So while I didn’t “feel” like I celebrated Easter well this year, I can rest well knowing the gospel remains the same. My feelings don’t dictate reality.

He is risen.

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  • Reply Amy Christensen April 17, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I know what you mean Heather! I had a really bad day on Saturday and on Sunday it was very hard to focus on what the day was all about. But God is so faithful. He knows our frame and knows our struggles and doubts. We don’t have to pretend with Him. He already gets us! Thanks for being honest. It always helps to know we are not alone.

  • Reply Laura Rath April 17, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Oh my, Heather, this is just how I’ve been feeling! I tried writing about it last week, but decided it was more for me to process, than to post. I wasn’t feeling Easter-y, like the ads for new spring dresses and shoes portray. But feeling Easter-y in the empty tomb way is what matters. Not sure I’m successfully getting my thoughts into words here, but love your post! Thank you for sharing!
    Laura Rath recently posted…God’s Healing Through a Song

  • Reply Andrea April 17, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I think sometimes everybody goes thru times like that

    • Reply Heather Hart April 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      I think you’re right, Andrea. Probably more often than we’d like to admit.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Candid Moments

  • Reply Erin Crissman April 17, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I love what you said about honesty and people thinking more than what is the reality! But the beauty is that no one has it all together and we all have to survive on the grace of Jesus! Great post!

  • Reply Jaime Hampton April 17, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    “Easter isn’t a feeling…it’s a fact.”
    I so love this! Thank you for this post, Heather.
    Jaime Hampton recently posted…Giving Thanks for the Thorn

  • Reply Terri April 17, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Been there done that.

  • Reply Sheila Qualls April 17, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    How honest. Thanks. “Easter isn’t a feeling; it’s a fact.” Too many times I get caught up in the harriedness of the day and overlook the importance of it. Like Christmas, it becomes a do-to list and not a true celebration. I kind of felt the same way this year. We moved Easter week, 3 of our kids weren’t home. It didn’t feel “Eastery.” I, too, am thankful my feelings don’t dictate reality.

  • Reply Robbie @ Use Resources Wisely April 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I am so grateful that even on the tough days we can just be. I was worried because my son was ina funk and my husband in pain but really we were all together at church for the first time in a long time and perhaps a seed was planted that day
    Robbie @ Use Resources Wisely recently posted…Bridging to Adult Girl Scouts Ceremony

    • Reply Heather Hart April 20, 2017 at 7:59 am

      It can be so hard for us moms to let go and just be, can’t it? So thankful Jesus gets us.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Gospel Moments

  • Reply Kristi April 19, 2017 at 12:29 am

    I have had Easter moments like that and am so thankful that our love for Christ isn’t based on feelings!
    Kristi recently posted…Change Your Day by Blessing God!

  • Reply Jenna April 19, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Heather, thank you for being bold enough to preach this message! It reminds me of the book Not A Fan. So many people think Christianity is following a set of rituals, like you mentioned above, when the Bible tells us it means our death and–through Christ–our resurrection. Easter is SO full of powerful reminders, and it’s encouraging to be reminded that it is not a light thing. I found you on the Women 2 Women linkup! 🙂

  • Reply Debbie Wilson April 19, 2017 at 10:51 am

    “Easter isn’t a feeling. It’s a fact.” Amen. We walk by faith and not by sight. Thank you, Heather, for your candid thoughts.
    Debbie Wilson recently posted…The Remarkable Benefits of Knowing These 6 Names of God

  • Reply Lo Tanner | lotanner.com April 19, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I think every Christian carries a little bit of brokenness with them. It’s what keeps us compassionate and lets God’s grace, mercy, and strength speak through our lives.
    Lo Tanner | lotanner.com recently posted…20 Ways to Bless Your Mom On Mother’s Day

    • Reply Heather Hart April 20, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Yes! I think we need to be broken to remember the importance of the gospel. If we start to think we have it all together, we’ll start to think we can do it all on our own.
      Heather Hart recently posted…When The Gospel Isn’t Good News

  • Reply Tracy April 19, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Heather, your question about being more a whitewashed tomb than a temple of the Living God really struck home with me. Just as Jesus cleansed the temple and removed the money changers, so I need to do the same. I need to make a place for my God to inhabit if I want to know Him personally. I want Him to have a place that is clean, yet it is He who does the cleaning. It is I who must submit to the process. Thank you for a word picture I can hang on to.

    • Reply Heather Hart April 20, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Thank you, Tracy, for your encouragement. It’s so important to let Jesus be the “house cleaner” of our heart. I love THAT word picture.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Gospel Moments

  • Reply Becky Hastings April 21, 2017 at 6:37 am

    It’s so easy to feel this way, isn’t it Heather? I’ve been in church and looked around me wondering how these people were feeling so much when I felt nothing. I understood. I believed. But church had become another thing on my to-do list (and Lord knows I didn’t need one more thing on that list!)

    I don’t have a neat, pretty answer to this one. I think telling God those feelings and just pressing in anyway. Waiting for the feelings to catch up. Telling God how much I need Him to meet me in that place. And sometimes it’s over and over again.

    So glad to share hearts here <3

    • Reply Heather Hart April 21, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Thanks, Becky. Sometimes it helps just knowing we aren’t alone. That, and remembering that facts are more important than feelings. Feelings come and go, but what Jesus did for us is eternal.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Gospel Moments

  • Reply Aimee Imbeau April 27, 2017 at 11:46 am

    I’ve had people tell me that “I have it all together” – and it’s not that I am trying to portray that facade at all – but I think that this is just another reason why we need to share our stories of faith with others. Then they can see what we’ve been through to get where we are. And that we should not just assume things about people…
    Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth – always a joy to read your content.
    Aimee Imbeau recently posted…What I Found At His Feet

    • Reply Heather Hart April 27, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      I actually hear that comment from people more often than you would think, and it’s funny, because I don’t feel like that at all. But it’s definetly a good way to point people to Jesus. Thanks for stopping in, Aimee – love your link up!
      Heather Hart recently posted…Gospel Moments

  • Reply Ivy May 25, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Love that: “my feelings don’t dictate reality”.

  • Reply Heather June 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Remembering the messages of the scriptures really does offer a lot of perspective during these vulnerable moments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Reply Debbie Erickson March 22, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    What an awesome post, Heather! I’m sure you pricked some hearts.

  • Reply andrea March 28, 2018 at 9:10 am

    All of us have moments like that, I think – but what’s important is that we need to be aware of them

  • Reply Melissa March 28, 2018 at 10:06 am

    It is such an awesome reminder that no matter what I am dealing or struggling with, the gospel doesn’t change! Jesus is, was, and always will be our Lord and Savior!
    Melissa recently posted…Focused Priorities: Unlock Hope and Joy in a Biblical Marriage

  • Reply Alysha March 28, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I constantly have to chose to believe God’s truths over my feelings. You are not alone in this!

  • Reply Amy Christensen March 28, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    He is risen, indeed! I love this Heather. Right now my husband and I are not even attending a church regularly. You are so right, life is hard and often it beats us down, over and over, but Jesus is still the same, yesterday, today and forever and that is what I stand on. That foundation is unmovable and because of that, I maybe be dealing with all my junk on the inside, but I still want to be used by the Master. Thanks so much for this encouraging post. Happy Easter! – Amy

  • Reply Alice Mills March 29, 2018 at 9:56 am

    It took me a while to realize how dangerous Pharisees were. But a genuine Christian may make mistakes but they have the humity to ask for forgiveness and seek reconciliation.

  • Reply Sheila Schweiger-Rhodes March 29, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    After suffering from my heart attack in December and my mom who is dying this year feels so different. I have never been more grateful for the cross and the redemption Christ has given to me, but trust me I have been where you were. Masks can be very effective, but eventually, we have to take them off. It is funny how the enemy always wants you to believe you are the only one who has ever felt this way, so we hesitate in sharing because it makes us vulnerable, but instead, it makes us strong because there is power in numbers and freedom in truth!
    Sheila Schweiger-Rhodes recently posted…Looking for the Light in the Darkness

  • Reply Jessica Briggs September 25, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I have felt like both at different times in my life. I love Easter, I try each year to celebrate it with humility and reverence, I am who I am and have what I have because of Jesus.

  • Reply Mary Leigh September 25, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    I appreciate your point about being aware that your feelings do not dictate what is real. This is something that I always try to remember!

  • Reply Bethany Rose September 26, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    I appreciate you sharing your heart! I think we all feel like this at some times.

  • Reply Melanin Wear September 30, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Informative and interesting Blog! Beautifully written, as usual, I like the post. Thank you so much for nice sharing with us. Keep posting!

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