Search for Humility
You go to the church where you find humility. It’s that simple. Religion that feeds our ego is like sugar, it will eventually eat you up and leave you hollow. Healing only takes place when we are able to look squarely in the mirror and make the decision to repent, to heal ourselves because we know we need healing.
“Church doesn’t make me happy.” (Note, this usually means church does not affirm me.)
I hear that a lot. Well then, why do want it happy? So you can feel good about your unfulfilling journey? So you can feel good about letting schools and technology raise your children? So you can feel good about muddling through life? So you can feel good about a lack of moral courage? So you can feel good about pointing your fingers at other people without looking in the mirror at yourself? So you can feel good about putting career and upward mobility ahead of family and community?
Read that last paragraph again. Alone, looking in the mirror, that is usually the truth about statements like, “Church doesn’t make me happy.”
Church should be honest and hopeful
Church should be sobering. Church should evoke humility in ourselves and those that lead it. Church should be hopeful because it is honest about our condition and offers us direction in overcoming the things we do that we know we shouldn’t do. A church that exists to entertain you is not church, it is a self-congratulatory ego club for the wanna-be hip. The flashier the church, the higher percentage of members who used to belong to other churches and are now on their way to leaving. Feed someone’s pride, and eventually the only thing they will humble themselves to is the vanity of their own ego.
You will find joy, something better than happy, when you humble yourself.
Humble is not judgmental
This is important. Humble church is not judgmental church. Humble church doesn’t focus us on the splinters in other’s eyes, it focuses us on the logs in our own eyes. As life passes by and we draw nearer to the abyss of death, it becomes easier to avoid self-analysis encouraged by the desperation of regret. This is sad. It is by facing our regret and using that as fuel to repent and be an example for others that we can experience joy and come to peace with our past while finding hope in our future.
Anyone can be humble and kind
And finally, if you are someone who would never step foot in church. You think it’s foolish and silly. Well, I can understand how you got there. Veneered teeth in an expensive suit preaching the “gospel” makes me puke. Hypocrites and self-possessed faith clubs turn people away. But don’t kid yourself, you can still look in the mirror. You can still hold yourself accountable and strive to do the hardest thing in the world, be consistently good and true, humble and kind.
Have I been harsh? Or even a little judgmental(yikes, I shouldn’t do that)! Probably. But look around your church this Sunday. Where are the homeless and poor, the single moms who were brought in to sit with you? How many of your congregants were culled from other churches for a more agreeable service or message or better Sunday school? Compare that to how many first learned about the almighty from you after a life spent in the wilderness with no church. Is your church judged by its faith and humility, or its attendance, structures, and checking account?
Look in the mirror. Be humble. Help the “least of these” while examining the many splinters we all have. There you will find God.