It struck me this week how much we get in the way of accomplishing our own goals. As Christians, we say that we want to reach the world, and we probably mean it on some level. Sometimes, though, we wonder why our churches aren’t growing or why God isn’t doing more, but then we do things that are directly opposed to our growth as individuals and as churches. Below are some things that I have noticed over the years. I wonder if you have noticed the same things.
Gossip – we talk negatively about each other causing division and undermining our intimacy.
Fighting – we spend a lot of time focusing on our own desires causing conflict with people we say we love.
Lack of Commitment – we want to see things get done, but don’t want to put in the time and effort required to make them happen.
Excluding New People – we invite people to come to church and welcome them warmly, but then never include them into our inner circle.
Forgetting Those Who are Sick – We don’t put out the effort to stay in touch with those who are sick or home-bound, or we just plain forget them.
Complaining – we spend a lot of time talking about what’s wrong, but very little time on what we can do to fix things.
The unity of believers is a big deal to God. Jesus told us that loving each other should be second only to loving God, and Paul described us as parts of a body all working together to accomplish what God has called us to do; reach the world. Each of these issues in some way impacts our unity and our mission. How can we fix the problem?
Our hearts need to be like His. That happens when we spend time with Him in worship, prayer, and Bible study. It may sound too simple, but it is through being in His presence that we are made to be more like Him, and each of these core disciplines helps with that. The more our hearts are like His the more likely we are to be able to overcome getting in our own way.