Tuesday, October 6, 2009

beyond the bitterness

Just some thoughts ... One thing thing God seems to be driving home in me lately is the importance that I move beyond the bitterness that I have held against some people in the church that I've came across over time. I feel like one of the steps that I need to take in order to wade through this issue is to express thankfulness for the ways that God did draw me to him through church.

I don't know if any of you all want to join me in doing this, if not, that's totally ok. But here goes....

The church I grew up in taught me that it was possible to know God. There were some beautiful, normal, messy people who took the time to let me into their lives. I saw in them that it was possible to live for something bigger than myself, and I saw the freedom that it brought those people. Looking them, I knew that all this church and God stuff was not just something we talked about or used to make a place in society, but it was a relationship with a living, breathing God. They made me want to live that way too.

I was taught that "personal purity" or "holiness" issues are not just personal, just-you-and-God issues, but that they were things that would affect my relationship with my family, my friends and my (then-future) spouse. I think this is something that has helped me from just saying "screw-it" to these issues when I started questioning certain aspects about Christianity. They didn't know it, but they were teaching me that to live in community, all your dirty laundry affects those you love in some way or another. We are all connected in that way. (Thanks Pastor Hank)

Probably the most important thing that I took away from church (besides finding Jesus of course!) was the conviction that God could be sovereign and loving at the same time. It wasn't that the doctrine was explained to me extremely well, (not bad either) but I really understood it from watching how others trusted God. Especially trusting Him in the face of situations that seemed cruel and hopeless at the time. Thanks to Melissa, Bob, people here ... the list goes on ....

That's hopefully just a start.... Give me strength to bear the fatigue of this coming day with all that it shall bring.

Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray You Yourself in me.


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