This message is solely to encourage you to find your people and continue to pursue a relationship with Christ despite the discouragement that may follow because of a church or its people.
When I first became a believer I thought I found the perfect group of people to surround myself with to grow in my relationship with Christ. I quickly found out that was far from the truth. Those people that “led” me to Christ were the same people that I almost allowed to diminish that relationship I had built with him. And I know in my heart that this is a solid lesson for others to learn from. Just because a few tarnished your view of God for you, doesn’t mean you need to give them full permission to believe that is who HE is.
You see, being a new follower, I looked up to these “Godly” people that had these perfect lives and were well put together Christians. What I know now, is there is no such thing as a perfect Christian, just someone that knows how to hide their sin well. Which is a typical Christian/human thing to do. I mean, do we really want others to see our flaws and dark pasts? Nope.
The same people that pushed me to be a follower, were also the same people that almost pushed me away from following Christ. I questioned on how Christians could be so hateful and ugly. Their actions and words are what made me almost walk away completely. I would think to myself; if they all act like that, talk about one another, and treat people that way… I don’t want to be part of that. But the reality is, no Christian is perfect and we won’t ever pretend to be because we know who will redeem us from our sins. We are to use the sin from our past as a testimony for others to refrain from experiencing what we did or help lead them to Jesus to free them from the sin they’re living in. We love others well and try to be like Jesus.
Real Christians mess up and acknowledge that. Maybe not to the public but we don’t leave others out and we don’t use scripture to fulfill our own agendas.
This is me saying all of this so that you don’t let some messy people skew your vision of who God is. God is perfect. God is loving. God is full of grace and compassion. He gave us an entire book on who He is to model after and to learn from. Not the people in the pews. If you seek yourself doing that, you will be letdown and you will most likely walk away from God entirely, like I almost did. I promise you that. Don’t place your hope and trust in man. Place your hope and focus on Jesus and in Him alone.
I almost walked away from Jesus completely because I placed too much trust and believed that that’s how all christians were (newsflash: they’re not). It is important though to find a local body and community that love well and they are accountable. The problem was that I quickly outgrew these people and kept allowing past to repeat itself instead of taking a stand and removing myself. But once I did do that, the growth and change in my relationship with Christ was astonishing. I found a body of people who I can confide in, that are helping, loving, and wonderful Godly people.
Don’t walk away from Jesus because a bad encounter with man claiming to follow him. Don’t give them that kind of power. That’s exactly what they want and the enemy thrives off of. Continue to pursue him and only him, that is where you’ll find true transformation and trust.