Tuesday, November 17, 2015

When Church is Discouraging

Have you ever been to church, waiting, preparing, and hoping for an uplifting and encouraging time among believers, only to be completely discouraged and wondering why you even went? I know this happens to many believers, but I had never experienced it- until this week. We have a small group of foreign believers that meet together. (It's not a church, but rather a gathering of believers, because we don't have a set pastor, don't do communion or baptisms, and many other reasons.) I am usually "filled-up" by going each week, because I am fed by God's word, I am encouraged by other believers, and I am with foreigners who understand what it's like to live as an expat. However, this week, that was not the case. Details aren't necessary, but let's just say, I went home and told my husband (who was out of town for work) that it probably would have been better had I not even gone it was so disheartening.
I write this, not as a rant, but as a warning to believers- LOVE YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS! There are a million verses in the Bible about how to do this, and how it is our responsibility and our privilege to do so.
 How will the world know God's love (and want that love) if they don't see it amongst us?
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
Why should we care? Because Jesus cared about us. He loved us.
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Love the outcast. Pray for the discouraged. Encourage the one in need. Be the love of Christ to others, glorifying God, and therefore fulfilling the purpose for which He made us. Be the church!