I'm a believer in the local church and the community of support, fellowship and accountability it was created by Christ to offer. In my personal and family life the church has been a rock during times of crisis and pain. Often, when I minister to those outside of the church in times of great stress I wonder how they will survive without a community of brothers and sisters in Christ.
But, the church cannot be what it should be in times of need if that need is kept secret or if the ones needing help, because of pride or shame pull away from the body. Over my more than three decades of pastoring I have seen this happen. An individual, couple or family feels overwhelmed by a crisis, and rather than run to the church for support and love, they drop out. That grieves me, especially when the church is ready and willing to show and give the support needed and without judgment.
A friend posted this today on Facebook, and I wanted to share it with others. It is so true.
you are suffering, you may sometimes tend to withdraw, pull back, and
pull away," says Anne Graham Lotz. "I do think there is a time for that,
and each day you should spend time alone with the Lord. But don't
forsake other people, because other people can give you comfort and
encouragement and help you keep your focus. Sometimes you can get so
preoccupied with the problem that it consumes you. Other people can help
give you a balance."
God wants you to be truthful with yourself and
with other people. He wants to free you from the debilitating effects of
withdrawing and hiding your emotions. Jesus says in the book of John
that "the truth will set you free."
Jesus also said, "You don't have because you don't ask". Paul wrote to the Galatian churches that we should "bear one another's burdens". If there is no asking; if there instead is denial or hiding or withdrawal and the church doesn't know, it can't do the thing it was created to do. We should never be ashamed to seek out what the church can provide, which is the grace of God.
Run to Christ's family, not away from them. Let them be the hands and feet of the Lord in your time of need.
Everyone is passionate about something. Who I am and who I am becoming as a man, a husband, a father, grandfather, pastor, leader and Christ-follower all work together to shape my passions.
If I think I've got some wisdom or insight to share, I'll share it. If I have a question to ask, I'll ask it. If something in the news strikes me I may comment on it. I won't shy away from controversy, but neither will I tolerate what we call in the south "ugly" behavior in readers' comments.
If you enjoy it, great! Glad to have you along. If you don't, that's OK, too. Thanks for stopping by.
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I'm a 50 something year old husband, dad, grandpa in an incredible family and shepherd to a most amazing community of believers. Plus God has me living on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Life is good!