A friend of mine asked if I was going to write as many “Why
I Love” as I did “Why I Hate” blogs. It
is much easier to find fault with the church, or with anything for that
matter. Optimists see the glass half
full and the pessimist half empty. Me, I
am an optimistic pessimist. I am
positive things will go wrong. The
Apostle Paul said, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you
in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
The essence of giving thanks is seeing the glass half full, it is seeing
the hope that we have in Christ and looking past the deficiencies that make up
the church. Peter said, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another,
The reason it is easy to hate the church is because there is
nothing good about her except that which Christ has done to redeem her and
conform her to His image.
I need to step
out from behind the curtain of the term ‘Church.’
I am the church, if you are a believer you
are the church, the church is made of us.
I hate me because of all the reasons I have written about.
I love us because of what Christ is doing in
and through us as He conforms us to His character and will.
I love to sit on my porch, but this wet spring produced a
harvest of gnats.
They swarm, buzz, and
annoy me so much that I was driven back inside.
I can focus on the gnats and allow them to determine my behavior and
maybe never go out on the porch again.
Or I can realize that they are for a season and a time will come when I
will sit and enjoy my front yard once more.
The choice is mine not the gnats’.
It is the same in the church.
People annoy me and I annoy people.
I can chose to allow their treatment of me to
determine my behavior but that only confines me, or I can chose to allow love
to cover their sin against me and treat them with the graciousness God has
I am not very good at it, but
I want to be.
I struggle with the same
things I hate, but I won’t let that define who I am in Christ.
The Church, though it has caused me pain, has ministered to
my family over the years.
It has fixed
my car, bought a new furnace, brought meals when my wife was pregnant, prayed
with me during times of loss, confronted me when I wondered, challenged me to
think beyond myself, celebrated my doctorate with me, sang me happy birthday,
and the list could go on.
It is good to
reflect on the pain that others cause because denying its existence is
But after a time of
reflection we must move beyond the pain and find the good that God is doing and
embrace His will in love.
If we can’t
find the heart to love and forgive the pain, then we will miss out on the joy
of God’s family.
Every time I am at a wedding and hear the bride and groom
commit to a life long journey of love until death parts them I am
With a 50% divorce rate in the
church the words seem to ring hollow.
The power of the words lies in the character of the couple.
When a person tells me he is committed to the
church I am weary because too often the words are empty.
Like my marriage I am committed to the bride
of Christ until He calls me home.
will be heartache, fighting, love, and forgiveness along the way, but in the
end it is about family.
Here’s to the
I’m just saying…