Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a NIV
Anticipation filled me as I grabbed lunch on my way to meet an old teacher I hadn’t seen in over twenty years. He greeted me with a smile and a hug when I got to our meeting place, and we sat down with our lunch.
LUNCH WITH “DAD”
Halfway through our consumption of sweet tea, collard greens, and fried chicken, he stopped me and said, “Brandie, I’m going to “dad” you for a minute. Are you and your family going to church?”
His question convicted me, and I gave him a long-winded answer. Getting hurt by people had complicated my church experience, and I was in a place where I didn’t want to get involved anymore.
After I explained my position, he looked into my eyes and said, “I want you to remember something. You are needy, and you are needed.”
His words hit my heart like a thunderbolt. I knew he was right.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.~Hebrews 10:25 NIV
NATURE’S PORTRAIT OF THE CHURCH
As I drove home, a cloud of starling birds caught my attention and forced me to stop in the middle of the road. Had I kept moving, it was likely I would have damaged my car or some of the birds, neither of which I wanted to do. So, I sat there and watched them dance. The birds painted a beautiful picture. I imagined this cloud of starlings depicting the church’s appearance when we worship together, pray, and encourage one another.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.~Romans 12:4-5 NLT
LEAVE PAST CHURCH HURTS BEHIND
Friend, have you shied away from going to church because it has wounded you? Being a part of the church is complicated for many of us because we have gotten hurt. As a result, we grow tired and tend to give up and walk away. It’s okay to tire of the injuries. It’s even okay to take some time off to heal. But remember, we are stronger together than alone.
There is safety in numbers. We need other people, and they need what we offer. Our church friends can help us draw closer to God, and perhaps those who hurt others, need the stability we can offer them. After all, they are the family of God.
Find a church that is unified in Christ’s love and leave past hurts behind.
Share an experience where you benefited by being in church.
Lord Jesus, You know the ways I’ve been hurt by the church. Please heal my heart from the pain, so I have the strength to get involved again. Help me to fellowship with a church assembly that loves, honors, and follows Your ways of love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022:“Dad” Advice: Brandie Muncaster: All Rights Reserved