I have a sweet young friend who’s been hurt by gossip. What breaks my heart, is not only her heartache, but that the gossip came from someone who attends church regularly. My young friend doesn’t, and she has her questions about Jesus. What questions cross my friends mind about Christians and Jesus now?
I wish I was eloquent in speech, or could write like Max Lucado. I wish I was more versed in scripture and theology so that I knew what right answers to share with her.
But honey, this I believe…
I believe that church pews are full of imperfect, broken people. People like you and me, who are constantly saying and doing the wrong thing. I’d like to think those pews are full of people who feel broken because of those mistakes, who are there to seek Jesus, to say, “I’m so sorry, I messed up”, “help me Jesus, I want to be like you”.
The church goers that have let you down, are probably very disappointed in themselves. And if they have truly accepted Jesus into their hearts, they will feel bad. His Holy Spirit working within them, won’t let them off the hook, they will know their sin.
See, knowing Jesus and loving Jesus, is knowing that I’m imperfect, and believing that Jesus died to save me from those imperfections. That He alone has the power to forgive me my sins, that He loves you and me so much that he wants us to join Him in heaven. And He wants me to come to him, cry over my sins, and ask for His help to do better. And He does….guide me, give me answers, send just the right people into my life…love me, unconditionally, no matter how many times I screw up.
Honestly, when someone does me wrong, I feel sorry for them. Sorry that they must have some issue that causes them to be angry, hateful, jealous, unloving…you name it.
Mostly I want you to know, I’m sorry. Sorry that a Christian did something to hurt you, sorry for how that reflects on the church and those in it. And as your friend, I ask you to not judge the church by one persons mistakes, but know that church is a place for those of us who need Jesus, need His love and His grace. And I hope that one day you will want to come too.
PS-if any of you have better words for her, please feel free to comment