Have you ever attended a church community and found something that didn’t quite sit well with you? Perhaps the music was too loud, the sermon too long, or the pastor’s hat was not to your liking. These minor discomforts, often referred to as ‘adversity in the church,’ can sometimes lead us astray from the true essence of the church.
The church is not a place designed to cater to our personal preferences or comfort. It is a place of fellowship, a place to learn and grow in our faith, and most importantly, a place to worship God. When we focus on minor details, like the color of the carpet or the style of the music, we risk losing sight of the bigger picture.
In the book of Hebrews, we find a powerful verse that speaks to the true essence of the church. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” This verse reminds us that the church is a place of gathering, a place where believers come together to encourage one another and grow in their faith.
Similarly, in Ephesians 4:3, we are urged to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” This verse emphasizes the importance of unity within the church. It is not about our personal preferences or comfort, causing adversity in the church, but about coming together as one body in Christ.
So, what happens when we allow ‘church hurt‘ to dictate our church attendance? We risk becoming complacent, using minor discomforts as an excuse to avoid church altogether. This not only hinders our spiritual growth but also isolates us from the fellowship and support that the church community provides.
It’s important to remember that no church is perfect. After all, churches are made up of imperfect people. However, the imperfections of others should not deter us from attending church. Instead, they should remind us of our shared humanity and our shared need for God’s grace.
So, how do we move beyond the carpet color? The first step is to shift our focus from the minor details to the bigger picture. Is the gospel being preached? Is the church fostering fellowship among believers? Is the church grounded in sound theology? These are the questions we should be asking.
Next, we need to practice forgiveness. If someone in the church has hurt us, we must forgive them and move forward. Holding onto grudges only serves to create division within the church and hinder our own spiritual growth.
Lastly, we need to commit to being active participants in the church. This means not just attending services but also getting involved in ministry, joining a small group, or serving in some capacity. The more we invest in the church, the more we will grow in our faith, and the more we will see the true value of the church.
1: Are you allowing minor discomforts or disagreements to distract you from the true purpose of the church?
2: Have you ever used ‘church hurt’ as an excuse to avoid attending church? If so, how did this impact your spiritual growth?
3: How can you shift your focus from the imperfections of others to the shared need for God’s grace?
4: What are the key elements you look for in a church? Are they aligned with the true purpose of the church?
5: Is there someone in the church you need to forgive? How can you take steps toward forgiveness?
6: How can you become more actively involved in your church community?
The next time you find yourself focusing on the carpet color, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself, “Am I allowing minor discomforts to distract me from the true purpose of the church?” If the answer is yes, it’s time to shift your focus. Commit to attending church this weekend, not for the carpet color or the music, but for the fellowship, the learning, and the worship.
Remember, the church is not about us and our comfort. It’s about God and His glory. Let’s strive to keep this in mind as we navigate our church experiences.
Listen to our Man to Man Podcast: Overcoming Church Hurt