Friday, September 7, 2012

They Don't Come By Themselves!

The story is told about a Rabbi from New York accepting a position in the Deep South. Wanting to make a good impression and get involved in the community, he decided to breakfast at a local coffee shop. He scanned the menu and found an item he was unfamiliar with. “Grits” it said.

He called the waitress over to the table and inquired, “Excuse me, what is a ‘grit’?”

The waitress replied, “Honey, they don’t come by themselves.”

It seems Christians are the same way. We have a hard time growing by ourselves. We like to think we are strong, independent, and faithful. Unfortunately, the truth is that left to our own devices we tend to follow after whatever teaching makes us feel good, agrees with our own point of view, or makes us the least uncomfortable. This is why God called us to form communities of worship called churches. It was His hope that we would be honest, sincere, and transparent with one another because in the church we can experience the same kind of forgiveness that God extends to us.

If only that were true.

It seems the church is one of the places we feel least comfortable being ourselves. We put on a brave face to hide the hurt we feel because our children have abandoned us. We bury the loneliness deep inside because we live alone. We keep our struggles to ourselves because we don’t anyone to know our weak points and our failings. We have been told that doing it that way shows us to be strong. God isn’t in the business of showing us to be strong though. He is entirely interested in showing Himself to be strong in us, through us, and on our behalf. Our pride just won’t let us get out of the way. Imagine how strong God could be in your life if you only gave Him a chance to work on your weaknesses!

Pastor Craig