Finger-pointing at church is hypocrisy at its best and it consumes everyone involved. As I write a more in-depth post on church for tomorrow, I couldn’t help but share this piece that didn’t fit the post.
We often use a church building, a singular place of gathering, as a crutch. We sometimes isolate ourselves from others because of church. It can be a place of pride. People religiously think they are “better” than others and have a better “faith” because they routinely go to the church.
It can be a place of bitterness and anger. How many of you have had toxic experiences at church or STILL struggle, years later, to let it go? I’ve seen the finger-pointing BOTH ways. No one is innocent. Stop belittling believers! Stop acting prideful that a nonperfect person, who is not Christ, hurt your feelings!
Me. Me. Me.
We focus so much on ourselves it is really hard to focus on others. If you’re like me, you may compare how “kind” and “thoughtful” you are to others, and then wonder why “people aren’t returning the same to me?” See how twisted that is?
We expect everyone else to be Christlike to us, yet, are one of the first to cast stones at others because we were offended, ignored, etc.
This is not to justify that people hurting us is right because it isn’t. The wrongs of others can be very damaging to us, for sure. But I am not going to coddle you. I’m not going to sling more dirt back at the “enemy.” It just makes everyone dirtier.
I’ll repeat that.
It just makes everyone dirtier.
Earlier today, there was a moment I caught myself comparing others. My disappointment in what I wish they would do. I do all of these things for people, and very few do the same for me. Whine. Whine. Whine.
God immediately struck my heart and reminded me, “That’s prideful!”
Well, it is. Pride is all about satisfying ourselves, which is why humility is the complete opposite of pride.
Bitterness is the child to Pride. I did not always realize that. But it is.
We don’t realize how prideful we have become. So upset at how others have failed us and hurt us, we get swept over by the seed of bitterness. Continuing to blame others, and hold onto our anger and grudges.
Whine. Whine. Whine. Me. Me. Me.
Pride and bitterness hinder us from being grateful and truly content. Even if we think we are, we are tainted because that ONE memory or that ONE person will always make us sour.
They don’t have to be. That’s why we have Jesus.
True forgiveness breaks chains. But true pride and bitterness only chain us more.
Often, its worse than the initial offense.
(NIV) Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
(NIV) Proverbs 19:11, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
(NIV) Matthew 18:33, “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'” (story of the wicked servant)
What chains are holding you down today?
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) Colossians 1:11, “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.”
Community Prayer Requests | September– Join us in requesting prayer, praying for each other and lifting each other up.
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath