Life

Maybe I’m the problem with the church?

Bob Goff, Everybody Always

Our world feels like a mess. Media, social media and news feeds are full of negativity, hatred, disasters, political attacks, violations, biting and hateful sarcasm, angry reactions, of argument after argument. There are so many arguments.

There are also a lot of good things, cries for help, positive support, expressions of compassion, fundraising for others, prayers offered, cute goat photos ❤. There is so much good going on…and I like to believe I am part of that.

I am compassionate by nature. Pretty nice most of the time. I am the first to say I hope, wish, want and will ______. Yes, God, that’s good…oh amen, we should feed the hungry, minister to the broken hearted, take care of the orphans. But you meant, sweet, clean little Martha from church, right? What about when it’s the homeless guy, or drug addict, or down and out, or the jerk behind us, the person we don’t like the smell of? Or when your elderly relative needs a ride, their bathroom cleaned or makes up excuses to see someone because they are lonely?

But here’s the thing, often I do go clean the bathroom (and oh by the way, I’m a germ phobe), but grumble about it and then say, “no, it’s not a hassle,” when they pick up on my spirit or see me washing my hands for the 10th time, making them feel ashamed. Just a guess, but that probably isn’t what God meant. I know people who hate christians, the church and maybe God himself because so many of us (like how I included you all?) have lived agreeing with, but not really doing God’s work. Oh I’ll be the first to say I don’t like inauthenticity, even hold my pastors and church leaders to task over this (inside voice of course), but somehow I have a kinder scale for myself. I mean, they should love everyone, right? That is their job. But, guess what? It’s my job too and people see right through that kind of hypocrisy. I’m why they hate christians and the church, like it or not. I just threw up in my mouth (TUIMM).

I can send a check, share a fundraiser or post, make a heartfelt comment, give away stuff I didn’t want anyway, throw a 10 second prayer at it, even serve or say I wish something was different and allow self-righteous pride to make me feel good about it. Ha! I have even had the thought, God my part is to support those who do that work. And lucky for me, I have a daughter who is a missionary, so it’s real easy to agree. So glad, I’m not part of the problem. TUIMM again.

Whether my doing something about it is taking time to listen to someone, research and vote, care or become part of a solution for the very thing I am complaining about, I have so much good to give. I can share, give, support, connect, fund, serve, help or march. I can be available, not get easily offended, believe and love others, demonstrate love through service, create, build, honor and respect. I can be a force of true goodness and grace, acceptance and of practical love when needing a coat or food or the bathroom cleaned.

I know there is so much need in our world, neighborhood and in our families. I have to believe if we truly begin to DO what God has said and not just smugly agree from our pew or armchair, oh what a beautiful world this can be. I am so grateful for grace that forgives our shame and sin and helps us become who we are supposed to be.

Have grace dear ones. Be grace. Let’s DO this work…let’s change the world!