Being a part of a church is difficult because people are involved. We must learn how to be patient with others and pray they can be patient with us as we seek to follow Jesus together.
Going to a church is easy; staying with a church is difficult.
When the Apostle Paul encouraged the Ephesians to walk in a manner worthy of their calling, he expected to see Christlikeness permeate every believer for the sake of the whole church. When you first visit a church, you may not know the people, and everything seems great, but the more you get to know them, and they get to know you, the more you become aware of numerous shortcomings.
Many individuals church hop from one place to the next because they constantly find something that disappoints them. While all churches are different, the one common denominator in all those churches is the individual who comes only to leave some time later. It is easy to see issues in other people or shortcomings in a church as a whole, but are we aware of our personal issues? We contribute to the dysfunction in the body of Christ.
What was Paul’s counsel?
Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.Ephesians 4:1-3
Church hurt is a real thing.
- Maybe you have seen a Christian mentor fall.
- You might have witnessed the collapse of a ministry due to unnecessary drama.
- You might have contributed to some of the problems that caused you to leave.
Church hurt is real because we have caused it and experienced it. That’s why it is so essential to display humility, gentleness, and patience (Eph. 4:2). We may want to act as if it is easy to love all believers, but it’s not. That’s why it is so helpful for Paul to admit that sometimes we have to bear with one another in love.
He then encourages us to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit” (Eph. 4:3). None of us can guarantee unity among a local church, but we can guarantee our effort to make it a reality. The only person you can control is yourself.
If you get angry about what someone else has done or refuses to do, you will never experience peace. Do your part, for it is all you can do anyway (Rom. 12:18). If you sense disunity among other Christians, do your part for reconciliation.