I want them if they want me.
- Jane's Addiction
No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
- Don Swartz
If you go to church long enough you'll get your heart stomped on. With people involved, it's a given.
There is an adolescent boy I know who was asked to leave church after his father left his family to go live with another man. The boy did not even live with his father, but during his greatest time of need, he was viewed as too much of a danger to the other kids . . . Do you want to guess what his view of church might be?
So many times I hear people tell me how isolated they feel, because they cannot live up to the real or perceived expectations of people in their church. - "I'm expected to be perfect, and I have so many hurts and secrets I need to share with someone . . . but can't at my church."
Many churches today load parishioners down with the burden of pretend perfection, and beyond throwing rules and Bible verses at them, refuse to lift a finger to help them.
God's love is sufficient to get us through a lot, but Scripture is crystal clear about God wanting us to help and depend on each other.
We are relational beings . . . made to love each other . . . made to be patient with each other . . . made to sit with and not judge each other during times of sorrow or personal defeat. We were created to need each other.
God says that our relationship with Him is incomplete if we are not in a loving relationship with each other.
There are loving and kind people at church, too. The most amazing acts of sacrifice and compassion I have witnessed have come from people within the church.
There are church members and leaders who are transparent about their imperfections, and because of that, others in their faith community feel less isolated and consequently . . . loved.
If you have been hurt by members of a church, please do not let that become an excuse to ignore the healing love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus loves you. He knows you are way less than perfect. In fact He doesn't ask you or anyone else attending a church to be perfect.
He asks us to believe in Him. He asks us to be in the process of surrendering to His love. He asks us to love one another.
When 'all three' are present in our lives, we find peace.