You may have some preconceived notions about church. In every area of life, you will find people who are authentic and people who are not. If you seek God, first, He can guide you in finding a healthy church that will encourage you to grow. But, first, there is something you must understand. There is no such thing as a perfect church.
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
ALL have sinned and ALL fall short – whether you’re a believer or not. We all fall short. We’re all imperfect. We all make mistakes. So, there can never be a perfect church because people gathered together is what makes a church and when a group of imperfect people gather together what you have is imperfection. This doesn’t mean we should use this as an excuse not to go. What this does mean is that we should go with an understanding that we’re all messed up and that we all need to cut each other a little slack.
Ironically (and sadly), believers tend to be most critical and judgmental of other believers. We are quick to point out each other’s faults. We forget that we’re all on the same team. We start treating each other like enemies, instead of like the brothers and sisters that we are. We all have the same “Daddy”. We’re all part of the same faith family. It’s normal for siblings to fight and disagree, but in the end, family sticks together to love and support each other. This was the design of the church from the beginning …
“But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.”
1 Thessalonians 4: 9
We need to remember these words that Paul, Silas & Timothy spoke to the early church. We need to let these words seep into our understanding and become fresh once more.
Spring is a time of renewal. Has the stale dust of a critical spirit clouded your mind too long? Is your heart in need of a fresh start?
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Colossians 3: 13-15
Forgive. Love. Live in peace. Be thankful.
Reflect & Pray
Are you part of a local church? If you are, have you allowed a critical or judgmental spirit to cloud your view of fellow believers?
If you’re not, why not? Are you allowing a past negative experience impede your desire to be part of something bigger?
Ask God to open your eyes to any “ugliness” in your heart that may need to be cleansed. Ask Him to replace it with a spirit of mercy and love towards others.
Confess any stubbornness or bitterness that may be hardening your heart. He loves you and wants you to be part of His family.
Did this inspire you? Please share with a friend.