The more I get to know about people, the more I understand that the church is broken. In fact, everyone is broken. I am actually surprised that the church even functions.
Let me explain:
I know one Christian woman who is terrified of men. Even the slightest hint of anger, fortifies her defenses. Maybe some traumatic event from her past caused her to be afraid, nobody knows. She’s not a terrible person, just broken and scared.
I also know a man who assumes that he’s not valued when he’s ignored. Acceptance personifies itself in compassionate dialogue. Again, the result of brokenness and betrayal.
Finally, there’s another college student who believes that the sum total of his personal self-worth is proportional to his ability to perform and accomplish tasks. He’s completely task oriented with little regard for relationships. Again, caused by brokenness and pain.
All three individuals are Christian. All follow God. All assume the church is the one place that they should be able to find unconditional love and acceptance. All are broken.
What if all three broken people where in the same church? What if they served together on the same ministry team or small group? Could they work together in this collision of brokenness?
It’s amazing that we don’t all just kill each other and that love is even possible.
Here’s the scariest thought of all. This is only one tiny microcosm of the church; three individuals that personify the entire church. A collision of brokenness.
So, is your church broken? Absolutely.
Dude, you said it all right there. Well all have junk we need fixed. One thing Troy and I have done is we hired counselors for our staff pastors and ourselves. They come in once a month to make sure we are staying healthy while helping others. We realized the more we brushed up against others peoples junk that we had our own and if we did not deal with it we would not be able to continue to help others like we want to. We are all on a journey to get healthier, or healthy as it might be. We have found that the more we work on our own stuff the better we are to help others.
It is kind of like taking an advil vs. preventing headaches. I would rather take the steps necessary to prevent the headache than to keep having to take the advil. Hiring these people to come in has been awesome. I see it as preventative as well as repairing. If I cant deal with my headache I certainly cannot help them with their cancerous condition.
What happens when the light comes on and all that is dark is revealed? I’ll tell you what happens, the scariest moment of our lives, and the greatest moment of in the life of Christ. How will we react to the big reveal. Honestly I want to run. Sometimes right into the arms that will bring me comfort and safety from all the idiotic choices I have made early in life and as well as the ones I make sometimes today.
I am not writing this worried about what Jesus will say, in fact I have already seen in him in that moment. *(see the almost stoning of a woman) Instead I worry about the church and her response. What happens to us when the darkness reveals our brokenness. Do we respond? Do we accept some instead of others. Does a child molester have a place in our churches? It is always messy up in this joint, and it will always be, so can those waiting for the church to stop being hypocrites go ahead and stop waiting? And can those who want to avoid this collision go ahead and take off their seat belt?
Speaking as the task oriented person, I spend most of my time hiding the fact that I need validation. Yes. Broken. Because when someone does the stuff I do and I don’t get to do it, I am destroyed. I have run to Jesus. To make his acceptance my validation.
But that’s hard, isn’t it. Because we’re busy being the best. That’s what we’re taught by this world, right? Be the best. Be in charge. Screw over your buddy and beat him to the top.
Thank God there’s people who love me, put up with me, accept me, use me. Even though I love me more than Jesus far too much. It’s when that light Jon was talking about comes on and shows me for what I am that I dread. I worry that I will expose my brokenness to the people who need Jesus instead of exposing Jesus to them.
Jon also said that he’s not worried about what Jesus will say. I’m not either. I am just afraid I disappoint Him. Too often.
I think the saddest thing is that we tend to show our “airbrushed” selves without the brokenness because we think that picture of ourselves is more attractive. I’m guilty of this too. In reality people would rather see the real with cracks and all than a facade that is perfectly put together.