Today will be the third time this year that I’ve found out about rumors among the women in my church, the second time this month and all pertaining to me. Not only rumors but theories about my leadership skills, how I’m holding them back, what woman would do a better job than me and what I am failing to do. These “opinions” have been told behind my back, to my mutual friends and to my face. And I am heartbroken.
So why does this matter to you? Because these are the experiences that 90% of people that visit any church have…..or have you never heard or thought that the church is full of hypocrites?
Sometimes the greatest heartache comes from a place you would least expect it, and that’s for good reason. This would be an opportunity to keep me so heartbroken towards church I stop going.
Then what? Who wins?
But since I’m a bonified southern woman with the hard headedness of a mule….I will continue to go to church and will continue to love people in spite of these setbacks.
I think that there is a reason that the Bible says to FIRST love the Lord your God and then love others as yourself. (“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31). The reason for this order is exactly the same reason why I continue to go to church. Because church is not for others and it is not even for me without it foremost being for God. So if you are going to church strictly to meet people, or to be accepted (because aren’t churches supposed to accept everyone?) you are going to be sorely disappointed because I promise you that Satan will use that disappointment to get you out of the church so fast. I love people because Christ first loved me. I love people secondary to loving God and I will always continue to go to church and serve in spite of the disappointments that are brought my way.
I’ve been in leadership in church for the last two years. And if I’ve learned one thing it’s that some of the greatest heartache comes to those who serve. Some of the heaviest and hardest attacks leaving you feeling alone and hurting as you are struck in your most vulnerable areas will be what you face in leadership. So pray for your leaders and ministers.
It’s because groups are attacked from within, a virus with the symptom of division. Because once a church is divided it will so easily fall. Go to church for God and your relationship with God, and then loving people will fall so easily into place.
Regardless of the disappointments of this world, I can promise you that I will always be a pinup that prays.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10