When I became a Christian more than a decade ago, the church has been my place of refuge. It was a place I felt safe and secure. I made long lasting friendships with people who are raw and struggling but were faithful to fight and win for Christ.
However, 3 years ago things became a little different. It was one of my darkest years. As some of you know I battled with depression for almost a year and the place I used to find refuge from became a place of more pain.
I remembered what Mahatma Gandhi said.
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
I never thought I would ever feel that way towards the church (its people). When all I needed was a hug, a simple prayer or a pat in the back, what I got was either an insult, a mean comment on my parenting or a rebuke that I am not holy enough that is why I am going thru depression. (P.S. Depression much like flu is a disease, you need to get treatment. But this is for another post.)
It felt like everyone in the church were Pharisees who appear holy by knowing the Scripture but lacked love and compassion.
By God’s grace, I found refuge somewhere. I became part of different online Bible Studies and made friends with people who are just like me — hurting and needing some love. Through their prayers, it was then I slowly recovered from depression.
Just like Facebook, the church is filled with holier than thou church goers. They appear to have a perfect life. No problem at all. I am holy, remember? But this is not real life. This is fake life!
How do you think non believers would come to you for help if they knew you never had problems in your life, that you had never ever struggled or had never overcome a problem? It’s ok to struggle. It’s ok to feel pain. And you know what? It’s ok to share it. Because people around you are struggling. People around you are in pain. Stop hiding and pretending to be perfect. How can people even see God’s hand at work if they don’t even know you were struggling in the first place?
Stop acting as if your life is perfect. Be raw and vulnerable and admit that without Christ, you are nothing.
The church isn’t Facebook. You don’t have to take pride in showing off how beautiful and perfect your life is and judging people who doesn’t have it all together.
What people need is LOVE.