I hope you all had a blessed Resurrection Sunday - I know I did. The past few days since then, though, there has been a completely unintentional situation at church that has left me feeling as if no one cares. I know is not true; I just feel as if it is right now. As hard as it has been, though, the Lord has used it to remind me of what I need to remember when I feel wronged by the church, and how I can respond in a way that is honoring to Him.
1. I don't serve the church for what I gain.
Each time I start to think about this situation, my gut reaction is to point to everything I have done for everyone at the church...the Bible studies I have babysat for, the many times I cleaned the sanctuary on a Saturday when no one else wanted to, the early mornings arranging chord charts for worship sets, the multiple nights each week I arrive home late because I am serving in some way; I am not un-involved. Honestly, I feel as if I am as committed at church as I can be at this point in my life.
But situations like this remind me that unless I am married and/or have a family at the church, I will still fall through the cracks more often then not. And while my initial reaction is to scream unfairness, that really isn't true. Either way, I don't serve so that others remember me and serve me back. I serve because the Lord has first loved me, because I love this church, and because I can. I have time and energy and resources right now that I won't always have. And even if no one sees, it doesn't matter. The Lord sees, and it is ultimately for Him anyway. My job is only to be faithful with what I have been given.
2. Our actions often have unintentional consequences.
What's been so hard about this situation is that all of the things that I have been hurt by are good things - things that are glorifying to God and bless someone else in the congregation abundantly. But by blessing this person so openly and publicly, I have been left feeling as if no one cares about the fact that I am in the same situation. I know that isn't the intention, but the results are the same. However, this has forced me to think about all of the things that I do, and the unintentional consequences that they might be having. I am not exempt from this problem, and it has been a heartbreaking reminder to watch my life more closely.
3. I need to focus on what unifies me with my brothers and sisters.
It's easy right now to dwell on all of the ways that I feel wronged, and to even go back to little things that people have done in the past that have been hurtful. But the truth is that love does cover a multitude of sins, and that even though I feel divided from some people in little ways in the moment, we are united because of Jesus and His finished work on the cross. In the midst of this, that is what I need to remember - that we all have the same Spirit and the same Lord at work in us for His glory.
It has been a challenging few days, but God is good. It has been good to process through everything and refocus on the things that matter.