Hi. I am Warren’s mom and he asked me to share some thoughts I have had recently. My prayer is my journey will be helpful to you in your journey. I am so thankful to have been an eyewitness to many who have been involved in Clear. It has been a special privilege and opportunity to see the emerging of some amazing young adults over the years.
They/Them/Me has been on my mind a lot recently. I, like so many, have been in church for years and years. Some of you may not have been involved in the local church for a long time, but have seen some things that disappoint you. During the years I have been in the church I have seen many things within the church, and have been disappointed, dismayed, lost respect for some people I highly respected, been hurt by actions of others, the list could be quite long.
Recently, my mantra has become “I am Church weary and Christian tired.” When I first verbalized that statement, I said it to Warren. He said “Mom, that is a strong statement”. I told him that I could not, not go to church, but these were my feelings. “Church tired/Christian weary.” Little did I know that two incidents would take place that almost sealed that deal for me on not going to church.
My husband and I talked about just not going to any church for a while or going to the “big” church in town and getting lost in the crowd. My comeback to the last one was we would probably sit in someone’s seat and they would tell us to move or at least say something. Did you know Christians actually do things like that?!? It also seems that the election last year gave people, even Christians, the feeling of freedom to be rude, call people names, yell at one another, and even be outright mean. Also, I had been guilty of doing what was expected of me, rather than what God has called me to do, which also leads to frustration.
Personally, I had to get to the point of just hearing from God and seeking His will and guidance in the whole scenario. Lord, I am Church weary and Christian tired!
Thus, I came to the realization that I was going to have to come to terms with They/Them/Me.
First of all, He would not release us from the local church. I was reminded to not forsake the assembling with fellow Christians even when some of those have disappointed me. A Facebook posting from Rehabs America says “When you hang out in the wrong places with the wrong people, you will soon do the wrong things.” Put that quote in reverse – “If you hang out in the right place with the right people, you will soon do the right things.” Why do we go to church? Why do we hang out with fellow sinful Christians? We go to worship Him, to praise Him, to encourage one another, to let His Word soak into our soul. If we attend the local church, we will be more apt to do the right things rather than the wrong things. “The closer we are to the Shephard, the safer we are from the wolves.” (-Toby Mac)
In one of the situations I mentioned earlier, it was a situation of “Who are they?’ “What will it take for them ….?” “What are they doing to fix this?” A lot of questions.
During this time, I repeatedly have heard the scripture in II Chronicles 7:14 “IF my people will humble themselves, seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” I would hear humble us Lord, heal our land…
Well, if you go back up to verse 13 it says, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain or command the locusts to devour the land or send pestilence among my people vs 14 IF my people
That is a big IF my people. Well in the context of this scenario, who is the “my people”? It is the church and yes, this is a corporate plea, but you know what? The church is made up of they, them, and guess who? – Me! To be corporate, it needs to start with Me!
They/Them…One of life’s lessons is that you cannot hide behind other people.
Another life lesson I have learned that has gone a long way with me in relationships is: “We ruin more relationships by expecting others to be what we think they ought to be…” When we have high expectations of others, we enslave ourselves, open the door to disappointments and frustrations. We forget how that also happens in reverse. That people will have expectations of you being what they think you ought to be. The important thing is to be who God designs you to be, and we are all on a journey to become more like Him, and no one walks in the same shoes on those paths.
So I began on a journey of “Lord, show me”! Reveal to me!
IF…humble means “a modest low view of one’s own importance”. Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” My daughter-in-law, when we were discussing this, said “No, No, NO! I don’t want to get to the point God has to humble me; I want to be there before He has to do it. Because if He has to do it, it is always ugly and always public.” Wise words and advice. Don’t I want God’s wisdom and to be absent of pride? Surely I would not disappoint anyone or anyone in the church! Oh yes I will.
Seek His face…a Holy God. Seek His radiance! His will! Not my will Lord, but Yours. You are a big, Holy God Who wants me to be in awe of Your Holiness.
Uh oh! Turn from their (my) wicked ways! SIN! REPENTANCE! Words you don’t hear often anymore and not the actual confession and repentance part. When was the last time you fell on your face, confessed your sin, and prayed for forgiveness? A quote that will shake your world is by John Snyder, “Sin will be seen in its true light-a thief of the glory we owe to God.” We get very comfortable and complacent with our sin, or the way we are doing things, and want God to be happy with our ways. A holy God is not happy with our ways that do not honor Him. Pride creeps in – I am doing ok. Judging their actions (remember they/them) and not repenting of my critical spirit. Letting fear overtake rather than being obedient to His design for my life. Actually I was kind of appalled at the things He began to show me about myself.
THEN, I will heal their land…Hope and Promise! Heal those dry places in our hearts! Heal past hurts! And being obedient to what He has called me to do is freeing.
This is a big lesson from the heart of God; He allows things to happen to give each of us the opportunity to humble ourselves, to pray and to seek Him, turn away from our sin and He will heal. It takes personal response.
Christianity costs. It costs obedience, repentance, humility, uncomfortableness, disappointment, sacrifice, and growing pains.
Ultimately it is about a Holy God!
Job 26:14 “Indeed these are mere edges of His way, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of HIS power who can understand.
Written by: Linda Jackson