Rough, undefined, harsh. Gritty. Those words should define most every Christian out there. Christians should, and sometimes NEED to be gritty. What exactly do I mean though when I say “gritty” when talking about Christianity? The definition of Grit is “abrasive particles or granules, as of sand or other small, coarse impurities.” So for something to have grit it needs to be rough and most likely harsh to hear about, look at, or touch. Gritty is defined as “containing or covered with grit.” Did you catch that? COVERED with grit. For something to be gritty it has to be COVERED with grit.
This is exactly how we as humans are. We contain grit. There are many different kinds of grit that humans are covered with. We lie, cheat, steal, abuse. We immerse ourselves in alcohol, drugs, pornography, love of money, offensive music, and disgusting movies. There’s lots of bad and unhealthy things out there, and we usually tend to seek it out.
Here is where I’m going with all of this; are Christians really so different? Are we grit free? No. Not by a long shot. But is that necessarily a bad thing? I personally don’t believe so. I think that it’s time Christians started showing our grit and throwing it all out in the open for the rest of the world to see. Christians are not perfect by any means, and that’s honestly GOOD NEWS! How will Christians attract those who are non-believers if we continue to pretend like we have it all together? I am sure there are non-believers out there who don’t want to come into our churches because they feel they will be victimized or ridiculed for not being a Christian. I wonder why that is? Could it be because many Christians out there put on a nice smile and don’t talk about their difficulties because they want people to think their life is all smooth and wonderful, simply because they call themselves a Christian? Most likely, yes. If you’re looking for something that has neat edges and straight lines to follow, then following Christ is not for you. It gets gritty. Sadly, I fear the church has become something that is viewed as only for those who are good enough to enter. That simply is not true and that view needs to be changed.
The church is a hospital for the broken not a museum for the saints. The church is a place where you can belong before you believe because we are all broken people. Christianity is gritty because Christians are broken people too. We should by no means glorify the grit in our lives but we should EMBRACE it. God is not afraid of gritty people or gritty pasts. Paul for example murdered Christians before he became a one himself and began to proclaim the risen Christ Jesus. If God can use someone like Paul to further His kingdom, then why couldn’t he use you or me?
As we see in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, He fully embodied the “gritty individual.” His life modeled for us the messiness that comes along with loving and saving people. Jesus sought out those of lower social status and served them. He was not a step above anyone just because He was the son of God. God sent Jesus down to be a servant to the broken and hurting. This example has become the good news that we as Christians should not only need to share, but need to represent.
God is not afraid if you are gritty. He wants to bless the fact that we are gritty. He wants to give our pain power so that our power can have purpose so that through Christ we can make a difference in people’s lives. Don’t worry about your image, your past, or your mess-ups. God wants our heart; He calls us to live a different life than what society deems “normal”. He doesn’t care about that little fake image we bring into church as if our life is perfect. God welcomes our grit. So let us not be afraid to embrace it. The grit in our lives allow Jesus’ sacrifice to do what God intended it to do. If we pretend to be “all together” then we are essentially telling God “I don’t need your grace, I don’t need Jesus’ saving power. I’m good, thanks though.”
When we declare that we are Christians I am sure there are times other people think, “Well they probably believe they’re perfect…” When in reality, Christians are just as broken and gritty as non-Christians. We all have grit in our lives and it is essential for God’s plan for us. Because without grit God cannot move in our lives and in others’ lives. There is nothing too gritty that would keep Jesus from wanting us.
Jesus loves gritty people, and Christians should too. Let us never again hide the grit in our own lives while we continue to point it out in other peoples’ lives. God is ready to raise up a generation of Jesus followers who represent the gospel in a real and raw way. The world is ready for gritty Christianity.