In James it says, “Confess your sins one to another that you might be healed.” Our tendency is instead to hide our sins from each other, hide our weaknesses, so there’s no possibility of healing. And there’s something about the way Rich conveyed himself that felt very confessional, and invited that kind of transparency, because he didn’t care what people thought about him. So from the stage he can give an introduction of a song where he talks about struggling with watching porn in a hotel room that’s very liberating for those of us in the audience.
CCM: Why is it so important that we’re not only aware of our own brokenness, but that we also attempt to share that with others?
BH: If I was on stage portraying a perfect, unbroken person, it would not only be inaccurate, but it would be inauthentic. And we have to give people a lot more credit for being able to see through stuff like that. I look up to people that I feel they’re telling my story—either through their writing or through the songs that they’re releasing—and it makes me feel as though I’m not alone. And I feel like that’s what connects on a heart level, when you can go to a place, even if it was the day of, where you really struggled with something that may be controversial and to have an open conversation about that with the audience.
JG: I believe our sin tries to hide itself from us, and sin’s most effective hiding place is in our self-righteousness—in our goodness. And a lot of that comes from the story we tell ourselves. The story is about how we are heroic, and our good intentions, and how blameless we are, and how noble we are—it’s about us being the hero. Or we tell ourselves we’re worthless, we’re disgraceful. It’s hard to receive grace in either of those stories.
I was watching an interview with Rich recently, and I was so aware that the interviewer was very impressed with him. Rich diffused a lot of that kind of hero worship going on. It made me aware of how when I have a true conversation or when I hear any kind of truth, it clears the room of a lot of smoke. Whenever I encounter and have conversations with people who are very truthful, and truthful to themselves about themselves, it’s always very clarifying. And clarity brings healing. So I think being transparent in the way that Rich so wonderfully modeled brings clarity to every conversation.
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