There is a problem in church. People look at the church and see faults, they see blemishes, they see imperfection. The church isn’t as loving, it isn’t as serving, it doesn’t do as much sharing the Gospel as it’s meant to.
I know why. I know the biggest problem in my church.
The biggest problem in my church is me.
Let me tell you the truth: I am lazy and selfish. I am proud and arrogant. I don’t love as much, I don’t serve as much, my heart is often cold and dull towards people and towards Jesus. I need help.
I have realized it is really easy to complain about other people and what other people are or aren’t doing, but when I look in the mirror I have to say that I am the biggest problem in the church before I start looking at other people.
Calvin was right when he said: ” For we always seem to ourselves righteous & upright & wise & holy-this pride is innate in all of us.”
It is so easy for me to pick out faults in others and see myself as upright and wise compared to everyone else. But the answer cannot be to will myself to love and serve more because that would come out of a sense of guilt and a comparison. My answer must be one of seeking Christ and asking for forgiveness – to bear lovingly with one another as Christ bears with me. But this takes time.
We all need to bear with one another. Not point the finger at each other or even at other churches, because we are all in the same boat. We are all the cause of the problem in the church. And we are also the solution.
So I must ask you to bear with me – to be quick to forgive and slow to rebuke. When I don’t serve enough please don’t whip me with the law but draw me to Christ. When I don’t love you, please remind me of the love of Christ. When I sin, please forgive me and bring me to Christ. And I will do the same to you. For we are all a work in progress and the bride of Christ is in her time of preparation, waiting for the wedding day.
The problem starts with me and I know I am a work in progress – being transformed everyday into the likeness of Christ. Sometimes that’s painful, its slow, there are peaks and troughs and sometimes its joyous, more evident and uplifting. We are all the same. We must bear with one another because church is messy because we are messy people. And I am a messy person.
But I know Jesus loves me. And Jesus loves the church. He loves his bride. So lets love one another.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. – 1John 4v7