I had reason to think last evening, about so many who came into our services. When they prayed through, they were expected to be full grown trees; without ever having a chance to even be a tender plant.
Let’s say they had some bad habits; we won’t name them; it might set off a big dose of finger pointing. Sometime in their early days as being a new infant in Christ, they had a slip of some kind. Do you know, that we were all over them. Instead of understanding that they are perhaps new in the Lord, or even knew to the church, we literally crucified them.
One of my friends here on Facebook spoke recently about growing up in God. She did a good job of teaching about speaking the truth in love; about how we were to actually mature in Christ Jesus, and in the Spirit. Children, are the only ones who are supposed to be slapping at other children, or pushing them down.
I don’t want to sound too harsh, but there are too many people, that just need to grow up period. Common sense tells us, that you have no right, to expect perfection from someone who is just starting out. I think, a lot of that, had to do with some of those “rules” everybody had to follow.
I certainly believe we need guidelines; and it’s right to have expectations of those who feel they have been baptized in the Spirit. Just because people did not immediately line up to our yardstick; some felt they had the right to pick at them. What am I trying to say? People quit, when they should not have, because we expected too much of them, too soon.
I tell you what really gnaws at me at times. People were kicked out of the church in days gone by, for some of the very things many see no harm in today. I said to a particular group here that I quickly withdrew from, that people were kicked out of the church years back, because they didn’t feel the need to get rid of their television. Nobody repented and ever told them they were sorry.
New folk in the church were shunned out the door, because they didn’t immediately take off their wedding rings. One of the reasons I left that group, and don’t ask me the name, was because they gossiped like crazy about everybody in their fellowship and flatly denied that these kind of things ever happened. Oh, I know… sweep it under the rug and let it be.
I not only think, but I know that’s wrong. When we have wounded people and hurt them badly, especially denying them real fellowship, we have a genuine duty, to find them, and make that right . Some things, we did in ignorance; we didn’t know any better; we were following what we were being taught. But now that we do, it is our responsibility to reach out to those people; and ask forgiveness. Unless, we still haven’t grown up yet.
I heard an elderly minister Lady, speaking at a ministers conference just recently. She said, “Love these people. Be patient with them. Give them a chance. Don’t run them off.” She said that, with a pleading in her voice. It may be one of the very reasons why she and her husband had such a successful ministry and a wonderful church that has actually taught others.
I don’t know where our church world, as we’ve known it, is headed today. I’m not talking about out there, or out here; I’m talking about the church that claims they are the real bride of Christ.
People are yet being wounded at many of these places; that likely won’t change. But can we? Wherever the Spirit leads us today, to what door or what soul we encounter, can we give people the chance, we would like to have; or see given to one of our own children. Have we learned.
If we get a chance, will we do it better this time.