Do you have any people in your life that you feel are just hard to get along with? Think about the people in your family. Any family members rub you the wrong way? What about school? Is there a person that you really struggle with? Maybe that classmate, when you see that they are in your class, you immediately know that class is going to be a drag? Maybe they are the know-it-all who raises their hand constantly to answer questions. Or maybe they raise their hand to ask a million questions, and you think to yourself “just let the teacher teach!” Or maybe it is the teacher that you don’t like. Their style, their voice, their mannerisms. Is it your co-worker or your boss? Many of those same tendencies that bugged us about students and teachers are the same tendencies that irritate us about our co-workers or our boss. The group projects where one person is lazy. The boss or teacher that is demanding. The classmate or coworker that is loud and boisterous and arrogant.
But thank God we never have these issues in the church.
You’re laughing…or you should be…why? Because we DO have the same problems. As many pastors joke, the church would be great except for the people. That’s funny because the church is the people, and the pastor is one of the people too. I am the pastor, and I might be the one you think is difficult! I hope not, but I know it can be true because of interactions I’ve had with people in the past. I’ve been at Faith Church nearly 14 years. In that time I’ve seen many times that it is impossible to please all the people all the time.
But I want you to be clear that I believe about myself something the great English writer G.K. Chesterton is said to have written in a letter to the editor. A British newspaper asked for people to write letters answering the question “What’s wrong with the world today?” Lots of people responded with many ideas, but it was Chesterton’s reply that was the most memorable…and the shortest. What’s wrong with the world today? Chesterton answered “Dear Sir, I am. Yours, G. K. Chesterton.”
So we do have issues in our relationships in the church, all churches do, and I would be remiss if I didn’t see myself as part of it. I also want to be part of the solution.
You may have heard the comment that if you found the perfect church, don’t join it. The moment you would join it, it would cease to be perfect. There is no perfect church. Because you and I are a part of it.
What is all this suggesting? That relationships in the church can be hard. We people can rub each other the wrong way, offend one another, hurt each other. But relationships in the church can also be wonderful. This coming Sunday we continue our series called Our Growth Process. We’re at Step 2 – Fellowship, which is all about relationships in the church.
As you get ready for gathering for worship on Sunday, I want to ask you, who are the people in your church family that you have the hardest time with? Just visualize them. And pray that God will speak to you about your relationship with them.
Join us on Sunday at Faith Church to learn more!