Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Church

We all long to be part of a community.  To fit in somewhere.  Even if you're an introvert, you still need people in your corner to love on and encourage you and for those you can love on and encourage.  Just not as many or as often as us extroverts that often thrive on interaction with others.  On those days you're going against everything you believe in or proclaim to follow, having someone hold you accountable is a hard but beautiful thing.  The church isn't just a building, it's a community of believers.  We can find rest and rejuvenation there.  It's a place where heaven becomes real and we can praise God in corporate worship.  Even on the hard and trying days we have the honor of getting to do that because God is good and faithful on all days.  Church is a place where you hear truth and pour into the lives of others.  It's not where you just go to get, but you go to give of yourself.  We have the honor of serving and loving on people where they are because it's like other relationships.  "We love because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:19.  His love for us should drive our interactions with others.  I can say from first hand experience that I've been loved, encouraged, and even hurt by the church.  Rather, by people in the church.  Yes, I said people in the church have hurt me and if I'm honest, I've hurt them.  Each of us are flawed and we are going to make mistakes and royally screw up.  But that doesn't mean we stop talking to a person or freeze them out.  Granted, we shouldn't.  Please know I'm not referring to situations of abuse and the like but rather the instances we get mad or our feelings hurt and then use that as a reason to stop going to church all together.  I guess you could say it's like using God's grace as a license to sin.  Either way, it's an excuse.


Let's reinforce the above.  People aren't perfect.  No matter what kind of environment you grew up in, you learned that early on.  If you're still walking around expecting perfection from anyone you meet, you're in for a rude awakening and life is going to be much harder for you than most.  Anyway, I'm sure you know that's the case regardless as to if you've actually accepted it.  People are going to let you down.  We all come into this world as sinners.  There's no way around it.  I'll even give you an example.  Some good friends of mine had me over for dinner recently and to just spend time with them and their precious one year old daughter.  She's absolutely darling and a lot of fun to be around.  Her parents are making a point to speak to her primarily in Spanish while most everyone else speaks to her in English.  When you're telling her "goodbye," her parents make a point to have her say it back in Spanish or Italian even.  Oh and believe me, I'm in complete agreement that they're over achievers but if I'm honest, I love that they're doing that.  It will open up a lot of opportunities for the child down the road.  When she's telling me goodbye, she always makes a point to just say, "bye" instead of "adios" or "ciao."  She's a year old and purposefully disobeys.  See...we are all sinners and rather stubborn.  So since people aren't perfect, that means "church" isn't perfect.  Anywhere there are people, there will be sin.  Now, the plus side of that is that there will be grace, forgiveness, mercy, and joy on the other side of that sin.  We just have to walk in the obedience of repentance, apologizing, and etc.  Do the work there.  It's like any relationship, there's action required of all parties to have he communication continuing.  If you just expect the other person (or church) to meet your needs so you can do what you want, it's not going to work because you'll run out of reasons to "need" the other person (church).  It's a two way street.

Some mornings I'm so tired and really don't want to go anywhere but I've made a commitment to be part of the body. 

I know that a lot of what I said might have been a repeat but we need to grab hold of the fact that we are to walk in community with believers.  We weren't created to do this life alone.  You have a purpose.  Yes, YOU!  That purpose involves being part of a body or even bodies of believers where there is sound doctrine, unending grace, repentance, love, faithfulness, and accountability.  If you don't know where to look for a church, let me know and I would love to help you look for one and get plugged in. Remember, you have a purpose and you aren't in this alone.  God absolutely loves you, and is with you. In the mean time, check out the podcast link I listed below (click on COTH Podcast) so you can hear more on church and what it's purpose is.  My pastor, Eddie Taylor, is the man behind the mic and I'll go ahead and tell you that he deeply loves Jesus and others so well.  No church is perfect but it really can be like home. 

COTH Podcast      

3 comments:

Lindsey said...

Growing up in church, I have had to learn this very thing. May we give grace to our fellow brothers and sisters as we pursue God's presence and purpose. <3
Lindsey Gibson
https://www.walls2wings.com

Heather said...

I just wrote a post about this very topic--it is dear to my heart. I'm so glad you wrote about it too. We need to be in community!!

Heather Bock
www.glimpsesofjesus.com

Keagan said...

I love that you addressed the idea of accountability and the church's role in that as well as that the church, the people, aren't perfect. And the words of it being work are , for me, are so needed right now. Relationships, even holy ones, take work on both sides.
So much goodness in this post!