Have you ever found yourself praying a prayer similar to this; “Jesus, save me from your followers!” If you have I have some good news for you. You are not alone! I, myself, have personally prayed this prayer. I know what you are thinking, “But you are a pastor you cannot pray like that.” I know this may be disappointing to some people but the truth is there have been times in my life where I would rather be around people who want nothing to do with “church” than some of the people you find in church on Sunday mornings who are angry, foul mouthed, harsh, judgmental, and territorial yet call themselves “Christians.” As I say this please understand that I am not saying everyone who goes to church and calls them self “Christian” are like this but every church has them.
Last week I challenged people who call themselves “Christian.” This week I want to challenge those people who want nothing to do with church or God because you either feel like the church is only full of hypocrites or you have been hurt by the church or someone who claimed to be a “Christian.”
When I first got into ministry a wise mentor of mine told me, “The best thing about ministry is the people, and the worst thing about ministry is the people.” Let’s be honest, we all have our moments of getting angry and frustrated with people. If you do not believe me just scroll through Facebook and count the number of times your “friends” go off about something.
Here is the thing; the statement, “I want nothing to do with church because the people are all hypocrites,” does not hold any weight because if you went to church one day the hypocrite attendance would go up one. Let’s face it we are all hypocritical at times in our life. Being a hypocrite is not limited to things regarding church and God. How many times have you watched a parent tell a child not to do something and then watch the child obverse the parent doing the very thing they told the child not to do?
What I am saying comes down to this—whether you have been hurt by the church or think the church is full of hypocrites—the biggest mistake you can make in your life is to blame God for the mistakes/sins of those who follow Him. Do not let someone else control your faith and your relationship with God. Do not let someone else dictate who Jesus is and what he has done for you. When you blame God or abandon your faith because of other people you need to understand the only person who will answer for your life and whether you have a relationship with Jesus Christ or not is, you. No one else. I am not saying your feelings about the hypocrites and the people who hurt you are not legitimate. I am not saying what they did or how they behave is right either. However, please do not make the mistake of missing out on what God created you for because of someone else.