Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When Church Becomes Just Something You Have to Do

What a dangerous place to be!
You just go to church, you just volunteer, you just work because it's what you have to do. It's what you think God requires of you, but your heart is far from it, far from where it needs to be. You think you're giving God what He wants, but God doesn't want what you're giving Him at all. You become calloused to everything ... the Word, the worship, the people. You are not moved. Ugh. Gross. Horrible place to be!

I work at a church so I know all to well how calloused a person can become to things.

This doesn't just happen to those that work in the church, but it also can happen to those who are regularly called on to volunteer or help out, those who are there day-in & day-out. It can happen to all of us after we've been in the church for some time.

Church becomes familiar. And, we all know the saying, "Familiarity breeds contempt."

So, what do we do? 
Of course, we're going to be familiar with church, Mama Belle We can't stop going to church just so that we don't "breed contempt."

Well, of course not. That's not what I'm saying.

We are called to serve. We are commanded to be in church. It's not an option (although some would argue that it is). Church benefits us all. 

(On a side-note) - What really gets my goat (hello, 1845 phrase) is when people who have been hurt by "church" ... they see it as church, but it's really just people ... turn their back on the church, forsaking even the people who love them.

Are we going to get hurt in church? I'd say there's a pretty good chance that we will, especially those of us who are extremely involved. When people put their heart & soul into something ... anything they believe in ... and someone says hurtful things or things may not go the way they think they should, people will get hurt. It's the same in any place where you have relationships. Look at the family (which is what the church actually is). Hurt happens all the time in a family. Church is no different.

The important thing is what you do when that hurt happens. That's when your faith is tested. What will you do? Will you just leave the church only to go to another one and have the same thing happen sooner or later?  Will you decide that the church is just full of hypocrites and say it's not for you? Or will you do the hard thing - confront and resolve the issue?

I think a person becomes stronger in their faith when they work through a problem as they see it within the church ... when they have to forgive ... when they have to find peace. They grow. God can use them.

(Back to my original point ... Geez. I'm a blogger who gets easily side-tracked.) But, God cannot use someone who is calloused to His move, to His work ... someone who is just a listener of the Word, but really isn't moved or doesn't care. 

I don't want to EVER be like that. I want to moved by the things of God. But, I must say that it's hard to be moved by anything when there are those hurt feelings or anything that would try to cause division within the church. Calloused hearts will not be moved.

A callus is very hard to get rid of.

In fact, it's recommended by doctors that calluses not be removed because it's actually your body's defense against friction & pressure being applied against the skin. Trying to remove it can cause infection. Well, we definitely want to peel those calluses off of our hearts. Those suckers need to be softened up.

So get this ... if a callus becomes painful (which spiritually they are), you should regularly soak them & scrub them. That's precisely what God expects us to do when we feel our hearts are becoming calloused. We must soak in God's Word and spend regular time in His presence. That's the only thing that's going to soften a calloused heart. Nothing else will work. And, it we don't try to get rid of those calluses ...

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:  “You will be ever hearing but never understanding, you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.  Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” Matthew 13:14-15

Honestly, I've been there. Anytime I see those feelings rising up in myself, I get my heart & brain in check. It's at that point that I have to ask God to bring back to my remembrance the very reason I do the things that I do. I have to remember it's about eternity. It's about healing hurting people. It's about changing peoples' lives.

Then, I thank Him for using someone like me. I'm honored.


Dana Dawn Calverette said...

Great blog. Thank you!

My Dining Experience said...

Daphne this is good stuff. Every Christian should read this.. Thanks for sharing this post. His spirit is all over it. Thank u.