personal journey

This was a journal of my progress through the book "The Purpose Driven Life"...after having read the book, I know that I've only begun to learn about God's plan for my life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Day 21

Chapter Twenty-One: Protecting Your Church

People become disillusioned with the church for many understandable reasons. The list could be quite long: conflict, hurt, hypocrisy, neglect, pettiness, legalism, and other sins. Rather than being shocked and surprised, we must remember that the church is mad eup o freal sinners, including ourselves. Because we're sinners, we hurt each other, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. -Rick Warren

I am reminded of the very circumstances that led my husband and I to leave the church in which we were married at. It had been my husband's church all of his life...and a horrible division occured. This was due to the pastor's leadership...but I often wonder if our leaving was a good thing. I wrestle with this, and wonder if perhaps we would have made more of an impact if we had stayed in the face of adversity rather than leave.

Divorcing your church at the first sign of disappointment or disillusionment is a mark of immaturity. -Rick Warren

I agree with this completely. For many people of the church we had left it was an easy decision. They found that the church leadership wasn't what they had wanted, and in fact challenged their own lifestyle so they left without a second thought, even somewhat smug over the fact that so many people had left...that bothered me.

Listening to gossip is like accepting stolen property, and it makes you just as guilty as the crime. -Rick Warren

I know first hand how terribly damaging gossip is. I always cringe inside when I hear gossip being spread. It is ugly. I only wish that I had had the courage to stop some of the gossip that was being spread a few months ago. I have found through experience that people who gossip are generally untrustworthy, and it has caused great rifts in my relationships with others. I have not been able to bring myself to trust them as I had wanted to. This includes my relationship with my mother. I do not trust her with the things that go on in my life, because I know that it ends up on public display. I have other people in my life that I have grown distant from because of this as well...and it is a shame because I had hoped to have a close relationship with them, but I don't feel I can.

Point to Ponder: It is my responsibility to protect the unity of my church.

Verse to Remember: Romans 14:19 Let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony and the growth of our fellowship together.

Question to Consider: What am I personally doing to protect unity in my church family right now?

Good question...I feel sort of orphaned right now, not having a church family. We have been going to another church, but it is such a large church that we feel sort of "lost"...and "unneeded". I suppose that it will require some effort on our part to become involved and stay involved.

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