Have you ever been tempted to allow one bad experience with one employee ruin a reputation of excellence that had been consistent for years with a business you have frequented for years?
What’s amazing is there are people who have done the same thing to the church!
It has become quite popular, even in some “Christian” circles, to bash the church for all of the dumb things that she has done.
They will attend, serve, be devoted to a local church for months or even years…and then, all of a sudden…
- Someone didn’t call them when they were out for two weeks.
- Someone said something hurtful to or about them.
- They didn’t like what the preacher said.
- They didn’t like what the youth group was doing.
I could go on and on…but you get the point. There are times when people will allow one thing in the church to trump the decades of ministry and impact that have taken place through that body of believers, and that’s a bit insane.
- Yes, if you stay in a church long enough I promise you that you will see hypocrisy.
- Someone will say something to you or about you that will hurt you.
- Decisions will be made that you do not like.
- There are going to be sermons that make you mad.
When that happens the enemy is going to try his best to convince you to just walk away…because he knows the first step away from God is usually getting people to step away from the people of God.
Yes, the church, EVERY church, has made some unwise decisions and in the process have hurt or disappointed people along the way…but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater…
- She’s STILL being built by Jesus–that makes her important!
- She’s STILL reaching out to the broken, the forgotten and the poor.
- She’s STILL making a difference that’s going to be seen for eternity.
- She’s STILL GOD’S PLAN for reaching the world.
- She’s STILL necessary for believers! (If church is not necessary then why did Jesus say He would build it, died for it, will one day redeem it and spends so much time in the NT talking to it and about it?”
No, the church is NOT perfect…but neither are you (or me!) So, when we’re tempted to walk away because of the one thing that seems to hurt us or trip us up we should simply ask, “is this consistant with this church’s character?”
Stay in a church long enough and you will have a bad experience…but let that push you closer to Jesus as you recognize that HE uses imperfect people in His plan, which means sometimes they get it wrong, and then beg the Lord to teach both them and yourself how to best deal with the situation…because, she’s STILL the church and STILL His bride.