One day I was on my way to eat at a particular restaurant in downtown Atlanta.
When I arrived at the restaurant the valet takes my car and I go into the establishment. I am seated by the hostess and up to this point everything is going as planned. After a few minutes of seating at the table I realized no one has come to greet me, bring me water, or to take my order. I get up to ask the hostess if someone was coming to assist me. In the back of my mind I’m not trying to be rude however I had a meeting in a little while, so I didn’t want to be.
The server finally comes takes my order but I realized she had a little attitude, so I brushed it off and told her what I would like to eat. I wait a few minutes and when she brings me my food I realized it wasn’t prepared the way I asked for it to be prepared. I tell the waitress that my order was incorrect so she apologizes and has it remade.
This is where everything turns for me!! I have this thought in my mind, I will not be coming back to this restaurant because nothing has gone the way “I think” it should go. But in that moment God convicts me and says, “James how can you not support this establishment because of one experience”. So I began to think about the words God said to me and I realized those two elements in reality wasn’t that big of a deal compared to my whole experience.
The valet and the hostess greeted me in a nice manner. The restaurant was clean and had a good score on its last inspection. So the good should be outweighing the bad thing. But at times we place more weight on one or tow bad experiences instead of all the good experiences.
What God wanted me to understand is that people treat their experience at church like I was treating my experience at this particular restaurant. Everything can be going good but let one bad thing happen and we stop going to that church or stop going to church period. A greeter has an attitude that morning, the pastor doesn’t preach when you brought family in town, you don’t get to sing your solo the Sunday you wanted to, a person in the praise team was off key, etc. etc. I understand that church hurt has become a big issue however we as Christians should be practicing love towards one another.
God wants us especially “Christians” to practice love and forgiveness for the word of God says in 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Give church a second chance, give it another opportunity to help you reach the place God has for you. I know someone reading this might be saying it’s hard to love the church in the 21st century. However I still believe the church is the place where people can find the healing and deliverance they need. So take the first step and have the courage to try church again and have the courage to show love towards a place that once showed you love.
Btw yes I went back to that restaurant and I still eat there from time to time.