Yeah, I have to admit, I have a pet peeve about church. And the older I get, the more I see, the bigger that pet peeve gets.
I don’t like it.
It makes it hard to go to church.
It makes life lonely.
It makes it difficult for church to be attractive to those who are searching.
It is one of the main tools that the devil uses to get in the way of the church in the 1st World.
What is the pet peeve? It’s the failure to be real.
It’s the failure to admit that we live in a fallen world.
It’s the failure to acknowledge that life is full of pain.
It’s the failure to be able to reach out and help those who are struggling.
It’s the unwillingness to welcome other people’s pain into your life and to walk alongside them “in it.”
I firmly believe that God designed the church, not as a support network for people who have everything together. Jesus came to be with the sinners, the IRS guys, the crooks, the prostitutes, those who are suffering.
So, if we’re going to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we need to be able to and willing to get our hands dirty, to share the pain of our friends, our church members, to be real and to share our own pain and struggles and welcome the support of others.
That’s when we will see God truly at work and that’s when we’ll see the church become alive and really make a difference.
So, take your tie off, relax and the next time you ask someone, “How’re you doing?” Be prepared to tell them the truth and when someone answers that question with “fine,” I dare you ask them, “Really?”
God can use the pain and suffering – but only if we open up and share our lives with others and welcome them to share their lives with us.
God can turn pain into grace and glory but only if we will admit it and allow others to help us work through it.
*steps down from the soap box*