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Sunday, February 24, 2013

a critical spirit

well, it's Sunday morning and I'm missing church..again. Truthfully, we woke up with an hour to get ready. It should've been enough time. But, my oldest son stepped in kitty litter, and by the time he washed his feet and cleaned out the tub, it seemed that too much time had gone by..
We got a cat yesterday. I didn't plan for the time that we would have to feed her, and care for her before leaving...and then there's the fact of shift work and how my biological clock is messed up..but that is still no excuse.. and the cat kept crawling into bed with me..everytime I would drift to sleep, she would jump on me..until, I finally had to put her out and shut the door.. So, busy, crazy morning.

when I finally caught my breath, I looked in the mirror only to notice that my hair looked oily and it was time for a bath.
By that time, I knew that I was fighting a lost battle.
I thought that maybe I could just be late, and then I remembered a sermon I heard years ago about how we displease God when we show up to church late..
and, then, by the time I remembered that message,,,, .I simply got angry.

I was angry at the kids for shuffling their feet in the mornings and having to yell to get them to hurry along.
I was angry at the idea that we have to "dress to the nines" in order to feel accepted at some of our churches. I am glad that the church I attend doesn't tell us this, but I have heard this message preached before..
I am angry for all of the people who have felt criticized and unaccepted because someone has told them that they are unacceptable to God simply for the way that they dress or because they have shown up late..
I started thinking of the meme that says, "Church is not where you go, but how you live." Of course, I started thinking of how a lot of people who sit in churches are extraordinarily critical.
They will judge you and condemn you for not showing up or making it on time, and seemingly forget one of the most important verses in the Bible.

"We fulfill the Law of Christ when we bear one another's burden,"
So, next time, instead of criticizing the people who don't show up or talking about the people who don't honor God in their dress,
Why don't you offer to buy them some nice clothes? Or find out why they are late and offer to help them out?
To me, that seems a little more fair and a little more Christlike..

It's time we begin to think and act more like Christ. If we find ourselves being critical towards someone, we have to realize that the problem might lie more within us than in anyone else. How many people have we alienated by our own condemnation?
While the Bible says to rebuke and exort, all rebuking should be done in a spirit of love. Otherwise, we are just a critical spirit showing people an unloving Jesus.

on more note.. I don't want people to think I attend a critical, unloving church. In fact, many people at our church accept me with open arms. I think this morning I was being self critical and just angry at the fact that there are those who will judge and condemn without taking time to learn all of the facts. or even those who measure your relationship with God, by how many services you attend rather than how much you have given up for God.
I have heard of people attending their church their entire lives, and still not really getting the message and harboring hatred in their hearts.
anyhow, today is Sunday. I missed church. I love Jesus with all of my heart. And we fulfill His Law when we bear one another's burden's.

Am I implying that church is not important?
But I hold to the fact that Christ lives in us..He works through us..the  people are the church. We should not forsake the assembly, but who is to say that we can't assemble at a food kitchen or a nursing home? just food for thought
Let me know your thoughts! :)
I guess this message is for the people who sometimes miss church..not because you don't love Jesus, but because you have kids with shuffling feet and you are afraid to be late because you wonder what everyone else might think..
and I guess this message is for those who don't have the nicest clothes, and feel as if you will be judged by the people wearing high dollar outfits.
If that is you, then I just want to remind you that Christ longs for your heart. I don't really think he cares what you wear , or the fact that you sometimes can't seem to get it together, so much as he wants your heart.


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