Monday, February 19, 2007

Beautiful People?

Is church a social club for all the beautiful people? Of course not, but they are just the ones we like to spend time with. I love my church family and I can't wait to see them every time we get together. I like being around smiling, positive, people, who love me and tell me how wonderful I am. It's nice to be loved! Duh. It's nice to have people seem so thrilled to have me pay attention to them - and it's no chore for me to do it because I DO love them and I DO enjoy letting them know that I love them. It's why God told us to get together! It's what "doing church" is really all about - not the ritualistic performance of five man-made acts! BUT, and this is a personally disturbing "but" for me, I know that if Jesus walked into our auditorium, he would talk to each person he met, be encouraging to everyone, BUT his real attention and compassion would be directed to those few who are not "the beautiful people" of church. You know who they are. Every church has them. The socially inept. The unfashionable. The coarse, the crude, and the unclean. The folks who are super shy, or obnoxious, or just different. They may even be demanding, embarrassing, and complainers. Whatever the description, they are hard to enjoy and usually only get our attention when we "run into them" and have to acknowledge them. But spend time with them? Give with no hope have receiving any warm, tingly feeling whatsoever? I wish I could be self-righteous at this point and shame "others," but I am too convicted by how unlike Jesus I can be at times - when it really counts - when no one knows but him, and me. It's nice to have a wife who doesn't know how to be that inconsistent. I've been working on it lately because I hear God speaking to me through repeated reminders. If you want to be like Jesus - look for the people he would look for. Seems like I remember someone talking about "loving only those who love you" being a selfish love. Surely I didn't imagine it.


karen b said...

good post, mike. i needed to hear that, but... ouch, it hurts.

Karen Barker

p.s. hey donna, ashley turned 12 yesterday -- can you believe it?!

Kathy said...

When you feel like you have become one of the "sick or wounded" in Christ's church you really do start feeling the pain and hurt in other brother's and sister's lives. My trial has made me more atune to people who need healing and comfort...just like I need healing and comfort. Thank you dear Father for trials and difficult times that really have opened me up and softened my heart to my church family and to those in the world who need Your family.