Wanna know what happens when you commit to a year full of healthy living from the inside out?
I’ll tell you. Le sigh (are we still saying that?).
When you tell the Lord that you want to focus on becoming healthy in all of the ways the Bible says Jesus was healthy, this is what happens: He hears you.
I don’t regret the decision, but I am learning about things I do regret.
God is opening the eyes of my heart to show me that while in some areas of life my discernment works really well, in others, well, not so much. In fact, not at all.
There have been two big scenarios that have been brought up in my heart where I see that I acted out of immaturity and/or naivety, and unfortunately, I was pretty vocal about one of them, and I need to repent, to Him, and to whoever reads this who knows what I’m talking about. I wouldn’t be surprised if I turned some people off and away over the years because of what I mistakenly took as “freedom,” even in the last year.
I have to confess something to you. Ready? Here it is:
I love my church.
I love my church so much that I bought the T-shirt (literally, bought the T-shirt emblazoned with the words, “I love my church” and the website on the back).
If you’re giving me the side-eye and saying, “So what. . .?” let me explain.
At one point in my young adulthood, I was taught that the way we view the Church today is inconsistent with the way the Church was meant to be viewed in the OG (original) form. Buildings do not make up the Church, people do. While true, and important to note, I received from this teaching, a very legalistic and haughty approach to viewing the ‘fellowships’ we attended and remained steadfast to the fact that ‘WE ARE THE CHURCH” and “THIS BUILDING IS NOT.”
I talked and wrote about it a lot, whenever given the chance, hoping people would come to the same understanding as I had that it’s not your church and my church, or our church, but it is US/WE Church. I didn’t see that I was trading legalisms and that while we definitely are the church, it’s highly unlikely that God actually cares enough about how we refer to our worship services for this to be the hill I die on. I’m pretty sure He’s far more concerned with how we are living up to actually being the church (read: being the hands and feet of Jesus to a dying, hopeless world).
I can’t even begin to describe my embarrassment now as God has opened my eyes to how I was acting and what I was preaching, so ineffectively, and needlessly.
It wasn’t just an eye-opening that led me here, I had to struggle with the truth that I truly do love the congregation that we’ve become a part of. I love pretty much everything that I have seen come from the stage, from the children’s ministry, from my relationships . . . I love this community, and I love this church.
When your kids beg if you can go to church because you’ve been sick so long that they sincerely miss it, you’ve found a good home. When your student/youth-aged kid sees on Instagram that BOTH the pastor and his wife will be speaking on Wednesday night and gets even more excited to go, you’ve found a place that is worthy of love. When your pastor speaks a word that hits directly to what God has been dealing with in your life, and is legit staring you in the face as he says it, I think it’s okay to whisper, I love my church. And if all of this makes you want to go back to some of the places that you’ve been before and say the words, “I love this church, too,” I think God is beyond cool with that.
If you’ve been part of a conversation where I’ve touted these ideas or you’ve read blog posts I’ve written about them, I repent and ask for your forgiveness. I can think of a number of people in my life that I hope read this, and that I will even send this to because I know I was pious about it to them. I was wrong.
I took some things at face value, never attempted to line them up with Scripture, and I made them rules in my private and public life, and while it’s likely affected me more than anyone else, I am so sorry for being dumb about it.
I pray that my lack of discernment did not bring grief or cause anyone to stumble. I realize that that statement may sound like I think I have a huge impact on people, but if even one person read what I had to say about the Church and fellowships and it affected them negatively, I want to make it right, and I want it known that it has cause me to stumble as well. I have deep regret over my actions as it relates to this. But if you know anything about me, it’s that I’m transparent, and while it’s uncomfortable, I’d rather admit where I’ve failed than pretend it didn’t happen.
I am committed to spiritual growth and developing better discernment, even if it means eating crow here on this blog occasionally. Hopefully very occasionally.
Thank you for your grace and patience as I struggle to become a better human, and a better follower of Jesus. I promise the same grace and patience in return as you do the same.