When I converse with a stranger, especially those who live in our area, I try to work church into the conversation. I like to see if a person has a church home, if they don’t, I will invite them to ours! We’re required to do that you know!
Yesterday a lady was telling me about a friend of hers who lived with an alcoholic, abusive son. I told her that I really wished she’d come to our church, being that we’re a recovery based church. She said they’d been but had stopped. Most people in this area have heard of our church. It’s the ‘drug addict’ church, or the ‘get out of jail’ church. Personally, I’m proud of that! To me, that means we’re doing exactly as God requires. To some people, however, our church is a church for losers.
Are there people at our church who’s mistakes are more visible than other people’s? Why, yes, there most certainly are people like that! Do those people mess up? They most certainly do! Are there people there who may not look like church people? You bet your bottom dollar there is! Would some people classify them as losers? Unfortunately yes, there are those who consider addicts, or people who are in, or have been to jail to be losers. There are those who consider a person who’s strung out on heroin or meth, or any other drug for that matter, to be a loser. If that’s you, then I’ve got news for you! One day, one of those so-called losers just might be your pastor, Sunday school teacher, or counselor, or quite possibly selling you flooring!
We’d better not think for one minute that any of us are better than anyone else! I don’t care what you have, or haven’t done! God will take a loser in a heartbeat and use them for His glory! God will also put the proud in their place in a heartbeat as well! Trust me! I know about both aspects from experience! I might not have been strung out on drugs, but I’ve been to jail. And what I went to jail for is hardly the worst thing I’ve ever done!
If we see a person struggling it should break our hearts! We should want to help them see that there’s a better way! We should want to help them see who they are in Christ! We should have the desire to let them know that there’s a Savior who loves them, and who sees them as perfectly usable! There are times when boundaries have to be set, but our heart for them should have no boundaries! We can, and should always pray for them!
Just because a person doesn’t dress or act the way we think they should doesn’t mean we’re any better than them! What it means is that we should have the desire to reach out to those people even more! Just because a person seems hopeless and helpless to us doesn’t mean God sees them that way! He’s a God who changes lives and works miracles!! And we’d better treat Him as such! When we look down on those people we may as well be telling God that His power is weak and prayer is pointless! Shame on us! Let’s all try to look at everyone through the eyes of Love! And if you live in this area and don’t have a church home, come check us out! Just don’t come expecting to meet a bunch of polished up, perfect people!
You may think that the situation is hopeless, but God gives us more grace when we turn away from our own interests. That’s why Scripture says,
God opposes the proud, but He pours out grace on the humble. James 4:6