Jesus loves the church, and if we love him, we will love his bride even though she’s got a few stains and wrinkles. If the church were perfect, none of us could be involved.
Consider Simon Peter. He was such a flawed man, but Jesus loved him and entrusted him with a vital role in the first church.
Peter boasted he would die for Jesus and then denied that he even knew him. He walked on water then nearly drowned because he took his eyes off Jesus. He claimed Jesus was the Messiah then minutes later challenged Jesus’ statement that he was going to be crucified. But Jesus told Peter he was giving him the keys to the kingdom. God still used him.
Church people aren’t perfect … far from it. But one of the reasons I love the church is the fact that there are so many wonderful people there. My best friends in the world are in the church.
I know that not everyone is at church for the right reason. Not everyone is a true Christ follower (yet). But for the most part, I think the church is made up of imperfect people who truly want to grow to be more like Jesus.
Imagine you are on the road traveling with your family late at night and you run out of gas in an unfamiliar place. As the car is coming to a complete stop, you notice three large men coming in your direction. You can tell each of them is carrying something. Would you feel better if they were carrying a Bible or a beer? Would you feel better if they had just come out of a church or a bar?
Even though there are no guarantees, if they are coming from the church or if they are carrying a Bible, I think most people would breathe a sigh of relief and ask for help. The odds are more in your favor. There really are a lot of wonderful people in the church.
I suppose everyone who has been to church for any length of time has “a story.” It might be a story of inconsistency, hypocrisy or sin. In all honesty, their stories probably would not sound all that much different from your own.
Many are disappointing. But many are stories of incredible compassion, love, mercy and grace. I choose to focus on the positives and all of the possibilities wrapped up in the local expression of the body of Christ. The church is God’s idea, and it is a good one.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at [email protected].