They Weren’t Hypocrites When They Got Here

A common objection to the Gospel of Christ is:

CHURCH IS FULL OF HYPOCRITES.

I wish there were another word, because this one makes me thing of Cockroaches.  Don’t ask me why. It has since I was little.

I digress.

Cockroaches.  I mean, hypocrites.

Yes, the church is full of them.  Because, as with every place you go, your business there is not necessarily about your “business”.  Meaning, say, you are a hiker.  And your dry cleaner is a hiker. When you go into the dry cleaners, he knows you’re there to pick up your pants.  You do business for years without ever finding out that you have the interest in common.  Unless you see him on the trail. Because you aren’t there to discuss your hobbies, you are there to do business.

When you are in church, you are there to worship, God, fellowship with others, be equipped to live out your faith.

Not air your dirty laundry.

We are ordinary human beings, no more able to attain to our ideals, than to leap off the roof and fly.

When someone objects to consorting with people who are not living what they believe, they are rejecting the man in the mirror.

Who does Jesus love more?  The guy who never makes a mistake?  Or the guy who can own his @#$%?  The sinner?  Or the guy who thinks he isn’t one?

The Bible is conclusive.  Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  He died for our sins.  Not our excuses, not our rationalizations,or good reasons.  My children will put me in an early grave telling me the ‘good reasons’ they don’t need to do what I say, the way I say to freaking do it. How God must feel when we do the same to Him?

The church is called the Body of Christ.  The body, at least where I live, is sick.  It’s members are plagued.  Living lives of pain and degradation, while showing up every Sunday and making fashionable, interesting, competitive, Christian chatter.

We’re shaving, showing up, and shmiling.  Sitting the pew.  Dying on the inside.

I’m an oddball.  My business is usually out there.  I’m constitutionally unable to act fine when I’m crumbling. Dealing with stuff head on.    People don’t like that.

2013 sucked. I found out about a lot of hurting people.

A.  Lot.

Not just the messy public ones.

Lots of men.  Who are supposed to be initiators, protectors, leaders.

Lots of kids.  Who we’re supposed to be loving and teaching the way to go.

We didn’t start out as hypocrites, but somewhere along the line, we forgot Jesus, like Billy Joel, preferred the sinners for dinner companions.*

That the prodigal’s dad was waiting for him to come home.  To party.

That the prodigal guy was sick of his sin.  A real hypocrite isn’t.

At our house, we don’t act like it didn’t happen.  If I yelled at Mickey, I yelled.  If I threw a book, I threw it.  If they told me they hated me, I said, “I know, but we’re talking about chores, right now.”

I get the impression that isn’t what’s going on around the community.

Kids are feeling like it’s burdensome and uncool to do what Jesus did.  Act out of love for the Father and others.  All the time.

Hypocrite?  That’s God’s call.

Sinner.  Yeah.*

The fault line is under pressure.  The tremors are coming.

We are about to get shook.

Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Still

“Be still and know that I am God…”

Not really very easy in this age of distraction.

Be still…

Until you can smile at the mess.

Until you can say, “It’s beautiful.”

Until you can say, “I have no need.”

Until your mind is changed.

Until you are okay without the answer.

Until you let go of what you want in favor of what is given.

Until you let someone stronger lift the load, someone wiser solve the problem, someone more loving fill the cup.

Be still…

Be quiet.

Be satisfied.

Know.

And be known.

The dork.  The cowgirl.

The patient.  The impatient.

The loner.  The liar. The lover.

The mind. The body. The soul.

Be still.

Until you know.

 

 

 

 

 

To Edify

To edify means to build up.

We can edify by means of words or actions.

The activities of the last week have made a tremendous impact on me.

I have made a conscious choice to be aware of what comes out of my mouth and to really listen to other people’s meaning.

Not only in my house, but out-of-the-house, and online.

Why do I mention online?

It’s funny you should ask.  As it turns out, I, having spent most of this election season writing about Fall and Pinterest and Dogs with Low Self-Esteem, found myself at a blog which attacked the political party I belong to and lumped all members of the party with racist bigotry, ignorance, hatred, and evil.

The post wasn’t characteristic of the quality of writing the blogger is FAMOUS for.  She received a lot of positive encouragement.

I was hurt and that was her intention.

I am became convinced at that point that I would never be found behaving in such a way, and that I would study to be a voice for honor, if I have failed to be one up until now. In the three years I have been blogging, I have not been so disappointed in someone whose work I had admired so much.  I now understand better (okay, I am hungry and I wrote the word butter three times before I finally wrote better) a disappointment I experienced early on.  And may seek to mend a fence the other blogger doesn’t know or care was broken.

I wrote a much needed email to a blogger who inspires me.

I called to communicate by spoken word with someone I was getting more and more frustrated with by email.  We parted excited to meet and with a much better understanding of each other as persons.

I lost my temper, and had to take responsibility for why I did that.  Unmet expectations drove my little tantrum.  And the the realization that that causes almost all conflict and it’s a very human trap.  Because we don’t keep a list of our expectations that have been met or exceeded.

Should I begin such a list?

Suddenly I began to notice all sorts of ways we build each other up and make our preferences known and fail to give all the information necessary.  I’ve begun to realize the ways we evade understanding to avoid responsibility.  Not necessarily me, but by observation of what’s going on around me. Then I begin to wonder if I do it too.  Usually, I do, just in a different way.

It’s as easy to learn from someone else’s mistakes, as it is to learn from their good example.

This combination of experiences is making a huge impact on everything.  It glows like inspiration from my heart, and as if by magic, my daughter is aware and testing my resolve.

Words can hurt, but words can heal.

They can build a bridge or just throw the bricks and slide around in the mortar.

If I am going to build something, that’s a luxury I can’t afford.

 

 

 

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