Let’s talk about fixing the church.
One thing I learned, years ago, from leaving and returning to the church body, is that every problem doesn’t need my opinion in order to be fixed.
If I have to manipulate my will into the church, even if I believe what I’m doing is right, then I’m trying to take the wheel from Christ and steer the church by my standards.
There’s a valuable lesson in this:
If God wants me to change something in the church, He will give me every tool, influence, and ability to do so with gentleness. Otherwise, if I do not have those things, it doesn’t get my attention.
Most of the problems people get so upset about really do not have any eternal significance other than the choice it sets before us to continue in love or to leave in anger and forget God.
Being a Christian is not about telling others how to carry their cross.
It’s about picking up your own cross only to find that Christ has already carried your load and simply asks for you to help others come to the same realization. It’s about coming to terms with your own failures to ultimately see how, through Christ, all things are made new and those failures are redeemed.
It’s about coming to terms that there are no answers outside of Christ and that even our own understanding of what matters to Him can be wrong.
Coming To Terms With Our Brokenness
Paul had to come to terms with his own failures in persecuting the church and being the worst of all sinners but was still loved and used by Christ. Peter had to come to terms that he did the very thing he said he’d never do, in abandoning Christ, but then had to come to terms that Christ still loved him and never changed His plans to use him.
John had to come to terms that this Christ was not going to be the warrior king he thought he would be but that He warred through His compassion and love; so John changed to become more like the revealed Christ to him.
Elijah had to come to terms that he was not alone in serving God and that in fact, God had many others doing the same thing Elijah was doing, so Elijah came to terms with this revealed God and continued the journey.
Abraham had to come to terms with his own age and lack of faith in God’s ability to do what He promised without needing Abraham to manipulate what God was doing even if he meant good. Yet God still called Abraham faithful and made him the father of generations to come. Abraham had to come to terms with this revealed God and continue the journey.
There are many more examples like this throughout scripture of people coming to terms with who God really was and who they thought he was…. and then continuing on the journey.
You can’t journey with Christ on your own.
We have to come to terms with the knowledge that Gods church is here to help one another on this journey of coming to terms with who we thought God was and what we think He really cares about.
We then have to reconcile this with who He really is and what He really does cares about.
Just as Paul encouraged the Philippian church to:
“…see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important;Phil. 1:10
We should also do the same in choosing to focus on what’s really important rather than squabbling over things that don’t add anything of value to showing the world the love of Christ.
Summing It All Up
The takeaway is:
Next time you feel like the church is failing and you just don’t like what you see; give your feelings the “terms test” and ask God to reveal to you what He really cares about in the situation and what He requires of you in the middle of it… you might be surprised by what He tells you.