About the author


Jane Gibb

Jane and her husband Steve ministered at Trinity Baptist Church in Cairns, Australia for fourteen years before moving to serve as missionaries in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Jane has a bachelor of education. Jane is active in ministry in Vanuatu as well as being a busy mother of six.


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    This is something I still struggle with so I really appreciated your post. I especially struggled with this as a young teenager. As PK’s, my siblings and I were often expected by some of the church my dad pastored to perform at a perfect level of spirituality. We were constantly watched for the slightest misdemeanor and either rebuked in person or dobbed in to our parents. Since more than half of the accusations were beyond ridiculous and usually unfounded, my parents were very good at shielding us from a lot of the whiplash from their condemnation and disapproval, but it still made it difficult to trust even those we considered friends enough to open up. It was frowned upon by these people for us to be struggling with anything. After all, we were PK’s and should already know the answers to every problem in life! Struggling with something indicated a problem with our spiritual life that needed instant correction. Cause everyone knows that sneezing in church (for example) shows disrespect for the sermon and invariably leads to rebellion which leads to rock music (or maybe it was rock music then rebellion?) which leads to sex and drugs and will land you smack bang in the middle of the infamous pig style of the Prodigal Son! And then you have to come back the hard way! =P

    (That was the better scenerio. Worst case scenerio started with sneezing leading you to read a verse you shouldn’t have read while trying to recover the spot the preacher was preaching from which will probably make you wanna study into it and then you’ll slip into wrong Bible versions and/or land you right in the middle of Calvinism! And then everything is lost for good!! lol!)

    Once after talking with a friend about a basic life issue (not Bible or theology related at all – not even music related!), her family actually left the church for good because I had given their daughter the honest truth of what I thought rather than the “diplomatic smile” and hyper spiritual “right” answer they wanted me to give her.

    Thankfully, as I’ve grown older, I found with a little searching that there are a lot of people who are aware enough of God’s incredible grace in their own lives with their own struggles that they do not have any desire to condemn me over my own struggles. I’m still learning the refreshment and joy and “sense of family” that really talking and opening up with a Christian friend can bring. There’s something really special when two friends can bond over acknowledging their own weaknesses and reveling in the grace of our Heavenly Father and His rescue from those weaknesses!! And I’ve loved discovering that I don’t have to have the “right” answer to be able to be there for a struggling friend or encourage her. God doesn’t need me for the job so I don’t have to freak out that I might say the “wrong” thing and ruin His whole plan for me, my family, sixteen friends and some random stranger across the street. I can actually enjoy fellowship with my Christian friends now… I thank God every day for His grace and mercy in allowing me to learn to open up to others and not only be ministered to, but to minister as well… =)

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    Jane Gibb

    Hey, Kez, that’s a lot of pressure to measure up to–sinless perfection. None of us can do that; Jesus died because we CAN’T measure up to that standard. Helping each other in our struggles to have pure hearts before God (not just pure on the outside) is so much what true Christian fellowship is about. Thanks for your honesty. May God pour out His grace on you as you give grace to others and receive grace from them in real fellowship.

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    Naomi Binstead

    Thanks for your article, Mrs Gibb. I know in my own life, I always used to shy away from sharing my struggles with sin with other Christians, because I wanted them to like me, to thnk that I was spiritual, too, and I knew they wouldn’t if they knew what I was struggling with. But since having moved to a new state six years ago, and not having had fellowship such as you describe offered to me very often, I have come to appreciate it in a way I never did before. And even though I am ashamed to discuss certain sins and struggles with my friends and fellow church goers, when a person fellowships with me in the way you describe, I always receive a blessing. God is truly good to us, to use our realisation of our sins and our honesty about them, to be a blessing and an encouragement to others.

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    Jane Gibb

    Naomi, thanks for sharing. Isn’t it sad how the fear of man keeps us from what we most need? When maintaining our “good girl” image becomes paramount, we lose so much of what our hearts really need. I think if we start being open about what’s really going on inside, we might find that others will be relieved and blessed by our honesty. And we can recruit them to pray for us and hold us accountable. God bless you as you pursue Him!


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