It makes me deeply sad, broken-hearted even, to see how the church in all it’s various constituent parts, treats people in and outside it’s ranks. In my devotional time, I’m presently reading in Jeremiah, which, I’m certain, is influencing my present deep sadness over the state of God’s people. To be certain, there is much good being done by some of Christ’s followers, but we will all look like hypocrites to those yet outside the body while we in the church still
- treat some sins differently than others, and none of them with grace, mercy and hope (I mean, seriously, what if we treated gluttony in the same way as homosexuality? I bet churches would be empty).
- treat each other poorly by failing to be present for each other in times of need, even when that’s uncomfortable.
- judge a person’s salvation based on their politics or stance on issues, as though God isn’t sovereign and our temporal choices will change His eternal victory.
- subvert the clear mandate of God’s message to us – to love one another as He loves us, and go share that news with others – in order to advance any other agenda or set of behavioral rules.
- value the material things of this world, personally and in our congregations, while other human beings go without the most basic of needs.
- outwardly display no difference in our lives from those who don’t know Christ (and I don’t mean music, clothing and entertainment!).
- neglect to see the whole message of God’s Word, choosing instead to obsess over small bits and use them as weapons to fight among ourselves.
- expect the institutions of government to do our mission for us while we fight over rules, carpet, buildings, and more… how are we citizens of another Kingdom if we do that?
The stirrings of a broken-heart, longing for God’s Kingdom to come, for His will to be done here among us. As broken as we are, there is good news! We don’t have to live like this! Grace, mercy and forgiveness are ever available; His strength and truth ever available to mend us and lift us out of the muck. We can change the world for the better!