Thomas and Lacy Ackright have been married for about 15 years and they seem very happy. They have the house, 2 children, 2 cars, jobs, money in their retirement accounts and even in their savings. They go to church every Sunday, she is on the Usher Board and he serves as a deacon and they’re always willing to help. They are the head of the couple’s ministry at church because everybody wants to know the secret behind the “great marriage” they portray. He is always a gentleman and she is the type of wife every guy wishes for. Their kids are well behaved, do well in school, play all types of sports and really involved in the church. They seem to have it all together and even folks who aren’t married are a little jealous. Then one day, there’s breaking news of a shooting in this upscale neighborhood. The news reporters don’t release any names but he says the house belongs to the Ackright’s. Now, everybody is wondering who would hurt such loving people? Oh but then it is revealed that Mrs. Ackright had actually killed Mr. Ackright. Wow! No one, not one person outside the house would ever expect this but the children did. Why? Because their father was a monster behind closed doors. Yea, while he was perfect to the world, his own family barely recognized the man he’d become. No one knew what caused the sudden change in him but it happened and it was bad, worse even! See, folks only got to see what the family wanted them to see. They didn’t see the bruises under their clothes or the small limp the son had from being kicked down the stairs. They didn’t notice the pain behind the smile of the daughter when they spoke to her and they never saw the fear in the eyes of Mrs. Ackright when they asked how she was doing or how she flinched when someone grabbed her arm. No, all the world saw was the perfect picture that was painted. They did all they could to keep the war inside of their home instead of asking for help because folks had labeled them and no one wanted to ruin the image of the “perfect family” but the image ended up ruining them. Yea, they lost themselves by trying to please everybody else.
See, we’ve become so accustomed to putting up fronts that we don’t realize they’re killing us. We’d rather go hungry than to admit we don’t have money in our pocket. We’d rather run out of gas instead of asking a friend to borrow $20 until pay day. We’d rather allow ourselves to be killed at the hands of an abusive spouse rather than ask for help. Oh, but I’m here to tell you, right now, at this very moment that everybody is struggling in some kind of way. While you are so busy trying to keep your co-workers from knowing your struggle, they’re busy trying to hide theirs. But, as Christians, how can I believe your testimony if I never saw you going through your test? If I never see you stumble then how can I believe that God straighten your walk? How can a sinner see God’s work if you’re not showing His work? No, I’m not saying you have to broadcast every piece of your business but at least show me some of your test? How can I show that God forgave me of my sin if I consistently act like I’ve never committed one? How can I show a doubter that God is truly real if I never show them how He changed me when Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven?” You don’t have to broadcast your business on Facebook everyday but at least allow me to peek inside your storm every now and then so that I’ll see the goodness of God’s mercy when He brings you out. At least show me a little of your test before you start broadcasting your testimony.