If you were the only church people knew, what would they see? Do they see you lying on a raft cruising along the current of the world? Are you someone who goes to church only out of duty, but who really lives just as they do? Do they see you as a pharisee? Are you someone who looks down on others who simply just don’t get it?
The other day, I had a a raft moment. We all do. I went along with the current and laughed at something I wouldn’t normally laugh at. Something straight up mean was said. I know we all say unkind things sometimes. But, there were no hurt feelings or emotion behind the words…it was just mean. Yet, I chuckled…mostly out of discomfort…because I couldn’t believe the words came out of this person’s mouth…but still.
I’m a nice person. Sometimes too nice to stop someone when they say something they shouldn’t say. I like being nice and intend to be nice until the day I die. I will continue to give more than I take. I will continue to care about people, even when they are unkind to me. Being kind gives me peace.
I need to show myself grace, but I also need to know when the Holy Spirit is trying to lead me.
I need to work on being around those people who say things I don’t want to listen to. I am allowed to put my hand up and stop someone when they say unkind things. I am allowed stand up to things. Because, what kind of church am I being when I don’t do anything?
Not the kind of church I want people to see.
The church I want people to see is the kind who gives grace generously. I need to give and receive grace, but still know I will always need to work on things. I want to welcome people regardless of their past and show them the hope we have in Christ.
I want people to know I will stand up for what is right, regardless of who is around. I want people to know it is okay to feel uncomfortable around things that are wrong.
The church, the real church, is strong and gentle. It is confident and humble. It loves the right way. Love is not walking on eggshells.
We all need to think more about the church we are showing to the world. The church is and should be relevant to us. And it can be more relevant to others if we show them the way. Many times we are the only church people will see. I ask again, what are you showing them?
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.