I know that I have, in the past, and probably will, in the future, been critical of the church. I have been completely called on the carpet for it this week. For the past two day, while innocently driving in my car, I have heard God’s voice. Clearly. “Deneen, the church is my bride. Why are you criticizing my beloved bride? Why do you criticize the one that I have chosen to love?”
I’ve been hurt by people in the church. I’m sure that you have as well. Let’s be honest. People in the church are sick. They are broken. Every person walking on this earth is broken, is sick, is on his/her way to death. That is the one thing that we are ALL guaranteed. The most pious person that you have ever known. The most depraved person that you’ve ever encountered. Being a part of the church doesn’t exempt one from a death sentence.
Before I sound too depressing, let me move forward. There are two things specifically that I am working on. First of all, I pray that God would heal the part of me that is prone to being hurt by people. Only He can define what that part of me is. I’m sure that I have a lot of tendencies that cause me to be hurt. The second thing that I am working on is separating the people of the church from the church. Sure…sometimes people suck. I know that I hurt people at times. You do too. Don’t delude yourself. The church, as God designed it, is supposed to glorify Him. The church is his bride. Not an arranged marriage. God married the church, designated it as His bride, because He loves it.
If I love God, that means that I love the things that He loves. He loves the church, therefore I love the church too. God loves people, therefore I love people too.
This is something I am still working out, trying to flesh out. This is something we are all working out on a daily basis. This is the process that I am walking through.