Monday, January 08, 2007

A Little Self-Inventory This Morning

Found this joke on a Christian site, and was free to copy it as long as I wasn't compensated for it:

One balmy day in the South Pacific, a navy ship espied smoke coming from one of three huts on an uncharted island. Upon arriving at the shore they were met by a shipwreck survivor. He said, "I'm so glad you're here! I've been alone on this island for more than five years!"
The captain replied, "If you're all alone on the island why do I see THREE huts."
The survivor said, "Oh. We'll, I live in one, and go to church in another."
"What about the THIRD hut?" asked the captain.
"That's where I USED to go to church."

Isn't that just like some of us, always finding fault with what we have--always looking for something else, never seeing that the blame lies squarely on our own shoulders? Instead of focusing ourselves on getting in there, getting involved, and making a church all it should be, we spend our time focusing on its faults, worrying about childish, insignificant things like the color of the carpet or some other nonsense. Sometimes when we don't find things to our liking, we just up and move--as if churches were disposable. You don't like this one? Fine, find yourself another. There's plenty to go around.

And while I know this to be true because of my last two years of searching for a home church, I also know that very few of the churches in my town are full to capacity. Most of them have empty seats on Sunday morning. Most of them could use a few dedicated laborers for the harvest. I've spent many a service as a visitor picking apart the music, the sermon, the teachers--when I should have had my mind on worshipping. My priorities were totally out of whack. When you go to church for what you get out of it, you're losing sight of what worship is truly about--commnunion with the Creator.

You see I know that without Him, I am nothing. Life means nothing. There is no fulfillment, no peace, no joy outside of Him. I can tell if I go without worshipping. My soul dries up. I can have my backside sitting in a pew for 12 Sundays straight, and if I'm not worshipping Him while I'm there, I'm still as dead and dry as ever. Did you know you can go through all the motions of being a Christian without actually being one? When we stop worshipping and start picking other Christians and churches apart at the seams, we are not reflecting the love of Christ. We are merely sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

Take time to reread 1 Corinthians 13 today. The whole foundation for Christianity is in that chapter. You can have all the outward signs, but if your inward heart does not love, you are nothing. You have nothing. You might as well be shipwrecked on a deserted island. You can make your own rules, build your own church, take charge of everything yourself--but you still won't be happy until you find a place of true worship. And that comes from within.

Lord, help me to love more. Help me to get my priorities straight. Help me to worship you in spirit and in truth.


Tammy said...

What a good can be so true for so many of us!
We recently switched churches, and are so glad we did...yet these past couple months have been spent soaking it all in..."taking" but not "giving". I guess it's OK to do that at first, but we can't stay there. Your post is great reminder that the church is not all about what we can get out of it!

Also, congratulations on sending your query letter! Good for you!
(I have a novel I started two years ago and simply stopped at my very last chapter...I should determine that this is also my year to tie it all up and send it off!)

Anyway...I'm glad you came by and visited today, since I was very inspired by your posts!

Anonymous said...

That was a very good post and very nicely articulated! It's so true, we need to stop and take a look at our priorities when it come to the house of God.

Thanks for coming by today and leaving an encouraging comment!

Anonymous said...

I love what you said -

" can go through all the motions of being a Christian without actually being one"

This is so true! I did this for a really long time. I became a Christian when I was very young and I ended up backsliding for quite a few years. The whole while I was telling myself and others I was a Christian. It took me a while to realize there was a huge difference in SAYING you're a Christian and actually BEING a Christian.

This is a wonderful post! Thank you.