So the title of this could sound like I’m going to rant and complain about mean Christians, but that’s not really what this is about.
Here’s one thing I know to be true: Humans are sinful.
All of them. Me. You. People who go to church. People who don’t go to church.
One of the things I am so thankful to have learned early on in my walk with God is to never decide anything about who God is based only on the actions of His people.
I have been treated horribly be people who say they love God, read His Word and pray every day. It’s something I am not sure I will ever understand. I can’t even get angry about something without feeling guilty and having to repent to the person I got angry with. How can people who say they follow God treat people like garbage and then just go on as if nothing is wrong?
This is a question with no answer. And it doesn’t even do me any good to even ponder it. There is no answer – except maybe the one I’ve already pointed out. People are sinful. People can do mean, selfish and awful things.
But that doesn’t change who God is.
I’ve seen people get burned by Christians and walk away from God. I’ve seen young people witness such hypocrisy by those that call themselves Christians, that they walk away from the faith. I’ve seen people who have decided their worth based on the opinions of those around them rather than the One who created them.
While it is true that those who follow Christ should reflect Jesus in their actions, that doesn’t always happen.
But that doesn’t change who God is: faithful, loving, ever-patient, long suffering, good. He is the source. The creator. And yet he wants to know us intimately. He is truly amazing. Nothing changes that.
It’s so important for us to know Him. Not just be around His people. Hanging out at church or Bible Study or youth group can help you learn about God. It can help you develop empathy and love and compassion and lots of really good things. But that is no substitute for knowing Him and just spending time with Him. Just you and Him. He is the source of life.
That way, when people fail you – and they will – then you always have a safe harbor in Him. Life might press you down, but it can’t destroy you because you’ll know Him as your strong fortress. Your deliverer. Your ever-present help in times of trouble.
These words sound so simple and yet they have been tried and tested in the fires of my heart this year. So the words might be small, but the truth is big because He is big. Bigger than we can ever imagine.
For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God,
The God who girds me with strength,
And makes my way blameless?
He makes my feet like hind’s feet,
And sets me upon my high places.
He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
Thou hast also given me the shield of salvation,
And they right hand upholds me;
And thy gentleness makes me great.
Thou dost enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped.
Psalm 18: 31-36
People will fail you. But God will never fail you. Yes there are storms that shake us. Paths that rattle us. Uncertainty that scares us. But if we are willing to trust Him and His will for us, then He will take us to places we never imagined. Eventually. That’s the journey. And I wouldn’t trade that journey for anything. So don’t ever give up on Him – because He will never give up on you.
Do not fear.