‘You say, “I am rich…” But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.’ Revelation 3.17–18
Perhaps the most commonly asked question in the world is, “How are you?”. Sadly it is not usually answered with much honesty, nor is it asked with any expectation or desire that it should be answered truthfully! Yet it remains a valid question that God encourages us to answer honestly for ourselves.
Since we ask others how they are with no real desire to know in any great detail, we tend to respond in the same way and answer briefly through a mask of respectability – “I’m fine thanks.” This becomes natural, and so it’s easy and tempting to do the same with God, answering him as we would answer every one else – “I’m fine”.
So how are you? A truthful answer involves many things, even before sharing some of your current emotions. The truth is that you are utterly loved by God; chosen by him and adopted into his very own family. However you are also, as this verse from Revelation reminds us, completely lost and hopeless without God’s love and self-giving for you. You are a physical dwelling place for his Holy Spirit, and yet at the same time weak enough to forget that frequently!
So what will you say the next time someone asks, “How are you?”
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission