There’s something about being a part of a local church.
It’s Godly, life giving, relational, encouraging, family oriented, faith building and so much more. I believe a church should be alive and making a difference in the lives of people everywhere. It should be a beacon of hope that reaches out and shows who God is, by acts of love and by serving others. In this type of church, great things happen. Moreover, God things happen!
It’s my belief we get to go to church! We get to be a part of what Jesus is doing in the world and we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Notice how these verses describe who we are as the church.
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”Matthew 5:14-16
The truth is, we’re all broken and when we’re a part of a local church, it should be a hospital where healing takes place. In this process of healing, feelings will be hurt, people will be misunderstood, people will be offended and expectations won’t be met. This reality produces church mind games that are created to isolate us away from church, unplug our faith and drift away from God.
But there’s something better for us!
So, what are church mind games? Let’s look at three of them that are prevalent around the world.
First, there are hypocrites in church, so I can’t go.
This is true. There are hypocrites that come to church. The word hypocrite comes from a greek word that means actor. There are actors that pretend in church and this is unfortunate.
However, there’s hypocrites everywhere. Co-workers, at the club, classmates, neighbors, at bars, sports games, banks and everywhere else. But have you noticed, hypocrites in these places don’t stop us from going there?
It shouldn’t stop us from going to church either.
This church mind game makes everything about what other people are doing wrong or not doing right. The problem is, we’re tempted to drift away into isolation and that’s not the plan of God.
I encourage you to stay planted in Jesus because of who Jesus is. Stay planted in church because it’s what he has for us and stay committed to being a part, because you can make a difference.
Don’t worry about church actors. You be the real thing and let Jesus do something great in you.
Second, I have church hurt from the past, I can’t move forward.
This is true. Anyone who has been in church for a period of time, has been hurt. Who hasn’t? It’s a part of being human and unfortunately, too many let something from the past, rob them of the present.
Hurt people, hurt people. However, if we allow the sin against us, to produce sin within us, we’re in a prison ourselves.
The better way is to rise above it. Let Jesus have your heart. Let Jesus heal you and help you forgive others. Because the truth is, we’ve hurt others too. It goes both ways; therefore, we must go higher and be what God wants us to be. So defeat this church mind game by moving forward with a clean and healed heart.
I encourage you to forgive anyone who has hurt you. Choose to move forward by letting it go and maybe letting them go. Move forward into what God has for you right now.
God can heal us of anything! So please remember, there’s a part you play in the local church, that is needed in this moment. Open your heart and let Jesus move in you one step at a time.
Third, I don’t need the church to serve God.
This is true. We are the church and we’re saved by grace through faith. This is an individual experience and we’re right with God based on what Jesus did, period.
But, the local church is the plan of God and the expression of God in the earth. We are called to be together for ourselves and for others. We are stirred to do acts of love and good works in church (see Hebrews 10:24-26).
We are to be panted in the house of God which then, produces longevity and fruit in our faith (see Psalms 92:14-15).
This is what King David did and it’s what Jesus himself did (see Luke 4:16). They went to church and they were a part of something bigger than themselves.
It’s impossible to love Jesus and hate his church.
He’s the head of the church and the church is his body. It’s him revealed through imperfect people by coming together to make a difference in our lifetime.
Notice, in these church mind games, there’s a sprinkle of truth mixed with a lie. This is what Satan did to Eve in the Genesis 3 and it’s what he’s doing today.
Therefore, make the decision, church mind games will not defeat me. They will not deceive me. They will not rob me. They will not isolate me. They will not cause me to make points and miss hearts.
Life is too short and our purpose is too great. The time is now.
Hold nothing back, let God have his way and find your place in the local church. Be an active participant, helping the vision forward and watch God, do miracles in your life.
Church is imperfect, but Jesus is perfect!
Worship him, join his movement and defeat church mind games.
Have a great week,