Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Representing God

A few days ago someone told me about a friend with a mental illness who had lost her faith in God because she had been rejected at church.

How that upset and angered me! How sad that is!

Why would Christians be so unloving? Don't they remember that it's Christ they're supposed to be following? Jesus, God on Earth, the One who showed us what love truly is.

God loves us through people. If we are Christians we are called to be God's representatives. Do we represent Him well?

In his book Soul Cravings, Erwin McManus talks about the level of trust we need to be able to have with others who are part of an authentic community - which the church should be. He said, "Honesty is the only context in which intimacy can develop." We need to be able to be honest with God's people, all of us recognizing that each of us is a flawed human being. "It makes it easier for me to remember that God will never reject me because I'm not good enough and that any community that has His heart will embrace me as I am. Jesus invites us into a community where imperfect people can find acceptance, love, forgiveness, and a new beginning."

If every church community could only be like this! Welcoming honest sharing. Welcoming people, though they might be different. Reaching out to people who need to be reminded that God loves them.

4 comments:

Jane said...

unfortunately it's not only the mentally ill that the church aren't welcoming. I have been aware of a few churches lately that are closing in on themselves because they can't even embody the qualities of God in order to love one another and operate as a church should, simply starting by loving eachother. If a church can't have love and respect for it's own members, i don't know how it can think it's going to reach out to others. It's no longer a celebration of God in there. I think we need to be more aware of the communities we are part of and take in our neighbours with care. I'm not saying that all churches are going through a hard time but I do want to raise the fact that some churches do go through hard times which can affect how people are treated from inside and outside the church doors. Something to think about anyway.

marja said...

Thanks for that Jane. So good to hear from you again! You're right, it's not only mentally ill people who feel rejected.

We so need to learn how to portray God's love to others. If we could all just pray that God will fill us with His love and that He will help us share that love with others. I think the results would be amazing.

Nancie(More Than Conquerors) said...

Dear Marja,

It is sad to hear of this person's experience but I know by experience that it does happens at time. A lack of understanding about mental illness and a lack of compassion probably leads to this sad situation.

Indeed God loves us through people. If we are Christians we are called to be God's representatives. I will always remember what you once shared about how you pray that God will fill you with His love every day so that you can love others with His love. It is also my desire that God may do so for me too so that I can share His love with others.

Thanks for sharing God's love with me and your many prayers. You are in my thoughts and prayers too.

With love and prayers,
Nancie

marja said...

Hi Nancie,

So good to hear from you! I hope you are well. Yes, that's such a good prayer. It's a prayer God loves to answer. He always does. All we have to do is to have a desire to share God's love - the love He gives to us - with others, and to ask Him to help us do that. And it happens. I have found that to be so.

Praying for you as well, Nancie.

Love,
marja