The coffee this morning is everything I expected it to be: hot, creamy, and delicious. And sitting here, the soft gospel music that I’m listening to on YouTube offering a soothing melody, I can’t imagine it being any other way. But coffee, even if I take every, single, step to make sure each pot I set to brew comes out perfectly, it’s not always what I expect it to be…And, it’s the same way with people.
The human race is full of surprises. One minute, people can be rallying, fists in the air, furrowed, sweaty brows, the most noticeable accessories in the crowd, and almost every voice can be lifted high, chanting “UNITED WE STAND; DIVIDED, WE FALL”! But, and I’m talking only moments later, if someone in this oh-my-God-I-can’t- believe-so-many-people-showed-up crowd, just so happens to scuff somebody’s new Jordan’s, or even bump shoulders with ’em too hard, things can begin to seem as if all hell has broken loose.
But, not ALL people are like that, though. Even in the center of a crowd, the mob mentality threatening to become one with each participant, some people cling to kindness.
And that’s the beautiful thing about humanity, right? I mean, if we were to base our lives off of what we see on the news, what we hear about on social media, or the things that people actually say out loud, we’d all be forced to accept a new reality that could holler “BOO”, and scare us all back to the early 1800’s. Thankfully, and usually at a time when we could use it the most, somebody does something that restores our faith. God is in, and around, everything; every situation.
As I stir the creamer into my second cup, I can’t help but smile, and shake my head. Some of thoughts that God places on my heart while I quietly sip on my java absolutely floor me! Have you ever sat a prayer at the feet of God? And, after you made petition before Him, you went to church, Sunday, after Sunday, you got with the crowd, and you rallied! Right? But, the whole time you’re going to rally with the crowd, in the midst of all the togetherness, and the fellowship, nobody knows that you’re on the brink of snapping out because everything, outside of the church crowd, has been spun into chaos. Don’t act like it’s just me. We’re all human; life gets to us all.
And then, the unfortunate happens: somebody in the church crowd says, or does, something to get under our skin; something we don’t like. Many a church feud have been born out of situations that are so basic. And, in the “I’m only human, I can only take so much”-ness of it all, instead of being sprinkled by the Godly spirit that falls on some of the congregation, we jump under a dark cloud, made mostly of pride, and prepare ourselves to fight with someone with whom we just stood in solidarity.
Suddenly, going to church becomes about avoiding a fight, or even words, with someone that you no longer want to fellowship with. Do you get what I’m saying? You are sitting right in the church house, in the midst of a crowd of believers, and you’ve lost site of the reason you joined the group in the first place! And, whatever prayer you have taken to the Lord has been halted by some very basic nonsense. So not Godly.
But, and this only happens when you truly want to be right with God, if you’re open to Him, He shows up via The Word. Am I right? You’re sitting there, mad at Sister Blah Blah, wondering why you sat behind her, and her gigantic hat(which, by the way, has never bothered you before). And the preacher, who’s been on the mic for at least twenty minutes, but you really don’t know what he’s preaching about because you’re focused on that hat; Sister Blah Blah’s hat has your full attention…until you, out of nowhere, hear him say
“Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”
Now, no matter what the mob mentality is like at the time you hear a scripture like this one, as a Christian, whatever dislike, or annoyance you have with another human being, ought to dissolve. If a person is at a place where pleasing God is more important than what is going on in the crowd, whew!… my my, my…all of that “Oh, I can’t stand her” ought to turn into an “I am so sorry!”
But, people don’t always see it that way. And, the fact that people, unlike a cup coffee, cannot be altered by what you try and add to, or wish you could delete from, their personalities, well, that can, at the very least, warp the faith of the weak. The goal though, is to gain more strength. We need to remember that it is our togetherness, our combined faith, that brings us together in His house. Somewhere along the way, Christians have lost their need for fellowship, and replaced it with their need for friendship. They are not one, and the same. “We have come into this house, to gather(together)in His name, to worship Him!” Sister Blah Blah, and nobody else, should be able to deter you from worshipping the name of the Lord. And, if you have all that upset-ness in your heart when you enter into the House of God, you need to do what you have to do to gain more spiritual strength. It ain’t about making friends. This thing is about gaining allies.
In the natural, we do everything to gain more strength for our bodies: exercise, change our diets, drink more water; almost everything the world says we can depend on for physical strength, we are willing to try. And, all we have to do in the spiritual, is follow the Word of God, and mimic the behaviors of Christ. So, why do we let our humanity make it so very, very hard? Why do we not work on the core strength of our souls with as much enthusiasm as we do when focusing on our abs, or leg day, or whatever we call “going to the gym”? Go ahead, grab you a cup of coffee, and sit, and think on that one for a moment.
The truth is, in this world, we don’t know what to expect anymore. I do know this, though: sitting in the church with an attitude certainly shouldn’t be a problem. And, I know one thing for certain, two for sure: God’s Word will never change. The Bible has very clear instructions on getting things right with those with whom you fellowship. I’m not going to tell you what it says, I want you to read it for yourself(Luke 12:57-59).
As I sit here, only a couple of sips left in my “Greatest Mom in the World” mug, I don’t expect my coffee to be perfect. I don’t expect you to be perfect, either. Neither does God. He does expect that once you learn better, that you will do better, though. The body of Christ cannot be viewed as fragile. I’m that person that clings to kindness. So, I often convince myself that everyone I meet is going to return that kindness. I get disappointed…a lot. But, I don’t expect disappointment in the church house. Truthfully, I’ve been disappointed on that one, too. Because, people are human, and humans are so fallible. But, God is not. And, when we come together in His name, if He truly dwells in our hearts, and we want to do what is in His will, we should be willing to throw all of our fragility out of the closest window, and be impenetrable by faith.
Until our next cup;