The other day, I was walking with my dad. While we were talking, he asked what was the name of the church I attend. He and I don’t attend the same church, but he is always intrigued by the name. He began to share an experience, which isn’t unlike anything new, but was a bit disheartening. My dad doesn’t drive, so he has to use public transportation to travel. He recalls, seeing a young woman on the bus wearing a t-shirt with my church logo on it. He greeted the young woman and mentioned he had a daughter who attend the same church. What happened next isn’t unlike anything we’ve not seen happen. The young lady ignored him and didn’t even speak nor look in his direction. My response to my dad is, that isn’t uncommon, as sometimes it even happens inside the church.
Now, what does this all mean.
Well, lets go back to the story of Moses. Recall Moses was an Israelite, adopted into Egyptian royalty, later discoveries he is truly an Israelite, similar to those who are slaves to Pharaoh. Moses returns to delivered the Israelites from Egypt to the promise land. With Gods help, Moses delivered his people out of slavery into freedom. Before they could reach the promise land, the Israelites endure some challenges. Recall the Israelites spent 40 days in the desert, complaining. Why? Well, the Israelites were freed from Egypt. But Egypt never left them. Physically, they were set freed, but spiritually and mentally they were still stuck in Egypt. Almost, as if they never left. Although they were set freed, the Israelites never changed their mentality towards God. God took them from their disposition and placed them into a new life, but their attitude never changed. They walked out of Egypt, but Egypt never left them.
Many christians wear church logos, attend church every Sunday, serve, and smile. The truth is, their hearts never let Egypt. Anyone can be good in church, but among the world they have not experience transformation. Transformation takes place on the interior as much as on the exterior. The moment we declare God as your savior, we have to receive transformation. This process is different for everyone. It takes time. In the world, they are stumbling in faith, falling short of grace, humility, and even kindness. Why? I believe we don’t know how to tap into God outside of the four walls. We don’t know how to wear Faith on the streets, among nonbelievers. Many connect with God only in the church and there it will stay.
The young woman was an example, and not the first person to think like this. Know this, her behavior reflects the church, including God. There are many seeking to know who God is, and her reaction can cause a setback. I know she didn’t mean to ignore my dad, her response is habitual. Depending on the area, its a wall we put up around strangers, out of fear. Certain cities come with a bad stigma. Growing up in those areas, you had to appear tough to avoid getting into any danger.
One thing I must say, I cannot judge her, because we all have flaws. I, too, fall short on walking in faith. Its easier to be Godly at church, and be the opposite in the world. Outside the doors of the church, the world catches can blindside us. Your faith can feel small in a broken world. It’s important to be apart of a religion, but its more important to have a relationship with God. In my opinion, God is primary, church is secondary. Church is there to teach and grow us in the importance of the word, but you need an intimate relationship with God. I cannot be upset with the woman, but God is working in her life. We are all, after all, a work in progress. Grace wins. I pray God to take over and help her learn more about Him in her journey.
Do you agree or disagree? Why? Comment below.
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