“I Hate Church People”

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV)

That season of life when the day’s schedule was divided into two distinctive chunks of time…before naptime and after naptime. As a stay at home mom of one toddler, nice days usually included morning trips to the park.

It was wonderful to find others who were just as starved for adult interaction and as interested in breastfeeding, teething remedies, and pull-ups as was I.  This was the season of life as well that I began to understand that the Lord was willing to use me wherever I was willing to be used.  I would be purposeful about praying before I got out of the car, asking Him to use me as He was able during my time there that day.

Often I would feel drawn to a particular mom who was just as eager for conversation, or more-so, thankful for a listening ear.  An encourager by nature I often would walk away feeling so blessed by the opportunities He allowed in bringing someone across my path that I could offer an encouraging word, a smile or even a much needed laugh.

One particular woman I encountered appeared tired, frazzled and disheveled all at once, even among the typical mom crowd.  An older preschooler who found joy in tormenting their younger sibling kept her on her toes… as much as she was able with the weight of the baby on her hip.  The little ones swung side by side on the “baby swings” requiring parent propulsion, and she began a conversation with me.

It seemed she had just been waiting for someone to whom she could bare her soul. A broken marriage, dire financial state and consistent family illness overwhelmed her.  She was clearly struggling with feelings of depression and hopelessness.  When I asked her about friends she lamented that most women were so tied up with their own families that they didn’t have time, and even if they did, she didn’t feel that she had anything to offer anyone.

My heart ached for this woman and the normal “it will be okay” didn’t seem sufficient.  New to the promptings of God within my heart I was fairly certain that I was being “nudged” by the Holy Spirit to invite her to church.  Not quite sure how to “get there” and not wanting to mess anything up, I was stealth like with my approach.  “So, do you go to church anywhere?” The tense, awkward pause afterwards was indicative to me that I had failed.

Immediately she met me with suspicious eyes, as if at just that moment she realized that I was incognito as an untrustworthy person who had been trying to gain her affection.  Her one sentence answer was sufficiently clear.  “I hate church people.”

Sensing her emotional conviction, I could tell that this was more than a generic disdain, but rather one that was rooted in a place of hurt and bitterness.  Inexperienced with these types of situations and immediately uncomfortable, I dropped the topic quicker than a freshly washed off pacifier.  Reverting back to casual chat we finished our time together and never saw one another again.

Children of God with similar heart sentiments abound.  Unresolved conflict, jealousy, judgment, pride, insecurities- all tools the enemy utilizes to stir the pot for the purpose of dividing the Body of Christ.

John 13:35 in the Message reads “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

Father, let our love for one another be undeniably evident.  Help us Lord.

 

Tanya Glanzman

Tanya Glanzman is thankful to be known as her Father’s Daughter, her husband’s wife and her children’s mother. She has a passion to share of the unconditional, redeeming and restorative love of God through writing and speaking. As a vessel restored, she loves to bring hope and encouragement wrapped in grace filled truth into the hearts of women, helping each one to know what it TRULY means to be a daughter of their Heavenly Father. When she is not teaching kindergarten, counseling At Risk adolescents or cuddling with her kiddoes on the couch she occasionally writes on her blog which can be located at www.myfathersdaughter.com.

2 comments to “I Hate Church People”

  • Boy, I sure hope nobody hates me cos I’m a church people. But I have also seen much strife and conflict over a lifetime of “churching.” I can understand how others, looking in, might perceive conflict in the church.

    I’ve learned a lot of things but my favorite is that some things are unsolveable. Good and godly people can disagree. There isn’t always a wrong and right, good and bad. More often there is give and take, a stand or defer, better or best. It’s when we demand our right to be right or let our drive to win overtake that Satan can get a foothold and division invades.

    Lord, give us wisdom and discernment and, as Tanya said, love so we can enjoy the unity you want for your Body. Give us church people a new reputation, a winsome one.

  • Oh Tanya – my heart goes out to this woman, I’m praying for her and for you. Because of your willingness to reach out and “plant this seed,” she will have to think about the tug of Jesus on her broken heart even more this month. I pray she will remember the kindness and concern in your eyes and feel overwhelmed by the love that He showed her through you. I pray that she will have the chance to find out soon that as one believer put it so well, “The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.”

    Oh and another one of my favorites; “If you find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll ruin it.” LOL! Love that one!

    And Candy – Amen and amen!

    Love and prayers;
    June

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