Human nature is a strange thing. Our nature often works contrary to our personal good. This is most obvious when it comes to how most Christians respond in times of duress. I have observed that more often than not, when a person goes through a very trying time, the most common reaction to the life stress is to stop coming to church. I have often wondered why this is so.
Perhaps people think that it’s inappropriate to bring their problems with them to church. After all, church is supposed to be our positive social time right? Actually, I believe church is supposed to be MUCH more than some positive social time. Jesus clearly said that it’s the sick who need a doctor, not the healthy. (Mt 9:12) What Jesus was communicating was that He is all about ministering to those who don’t “have it all together”. Yet for some odd reason, people who go to church seem to feel that Sundays are meant for those who “have it all together” to come and have a good time. So what we see more often than not are people who feel sidelined during times of great stress because they don’t feel like they should bring their problems to church. Sadly, this often leads to a complete and long-term disconnect from church.
Considering Jesus’ words, perhaps it’s time to re-think church a bit. For those of you who haven’t been in church for a while because your life seems to be spinning out of control, I’d say this: Don’t cut yourself off from the place and people that can help you most in your time of trouble. It’s ok to bring your problems, your stress, your attitude or whatever to church. Church should be a place to find peace…to get a break as you are going through the storms of life. It should be a sanctuary, not merely a social club. The church should be a place for you to find healing, not expectation to be “ok” all the time. The church should be a place to have your extended family rally around you and encourage you when you don’t “have it all together”. When you cut yourself off from church, you end up cutting yourself off from God’s family whom God can use in times like these to encourage you. This is one of the primary advantages to being a part of the body of Christ.
So if you are feeling isolated and like your problems will never come to an end…try coming back to church where you can and will feel loved, encouraged, and supported. It just may help lift you out of the hole you find yourself in. Short explanation…We need each other, don’t cut yourself off from those you need most.