I’ve seen several memes on Facebook with the statement I’m about to quote. I always share it when I do because of how much it means to me.
“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”
This is what our church families are supposed to be like–the ones who love us no matter what. It is also the subject of today’s devotion (The Body That You Choose). We choose our church families. Over the years of our marriage, my husband and I have made choices that haven’t been so good because we and the people around us didn’t understand the previous paragraph and didn’t understand the Scripture that calls for the body of believers to live together in love and not in judgment of one another. Fortunately, we are in a much better place now.
I say this with a true gratitude of how God brought us to this church family and how much we’ve grown in our faith because of our church family. They are people who genuinely love one another with the love of Jesus, and they’ve taken us under their wing even though we are messed up and broken people.
Today’s devotion brings out the other side of this coin. Not only do believers need to be accepting and loving towards others who come into the church; we have a choice at how much we are engaged with our church families. My husband, who is involved with the media ministry at our church, often tells me of people who get up and walk out when our pastor says the final words of his sermon. This saddens me. We are in such a great place now I don’t understand why some people don’t want to be engaged with others. Then, I realize they’ve made a choice like I made all those years ago. They don’t want to be real with others because of the chance for pain. They don’t believe people will love them as they are. They don’t believe people actually want them in their lives. They come to church to hear the weekly sermon, and they figure that’s enough church for them.
How sad! Oh, how sad! But, I understand. I do understand because it’s where I was, and it’s what I still struggle with a lot. We, as the church, haven’t done a good job with loving people. We need to make a choice to be engaged with and take care of our church family just like we choose to take care of our biological family.
So, there are two things I need to think about in regards to my church family. One, I need to make the choice to be engaged with and love my church family. Two, I need to love the people beyond our church’s walls and tell them about the One who loves us all. I can only do these things with Jesus in my heart. Praying for grace and love to share His love during this Advent season!
God’s blessings on all of you today!