A few days ago, my friend Eric, from “Hammer and Nail“, linked to a video in a post called “Watch this Desiring God Video about James 3“. The video, if you haven’t seen it, or didn’t go to the link to watch it, shows a family getting ready to “go to church”. They are yelling at one another all morning, then they walk through the front doors of the church building and begin smiling. The video even shows the father raising his hand while singing a song.
I realize that the purpose of this video (given the reference to James 3) is to show how we praise God with our mouth and curse others with our mouth, too. In fact, from the comments on Eric’s blog, it seems that yelling at one another on Sunday morning seems to be fairly typical.
But, for me, the video raised different questions. In fact, I looked at this from a different perspective.
I expect people to sin, and I’m surprised when they do not sin. I expect for there to be conflict in relationships (even close families). I expect for parents to yell at their children sometimes, and I expect children to yell at their parents sometimes. Notice, I’m not saying that this type of behavior is godly or right, but I’m saying that it is part of our human nature. Since we don’t always live according to the Spirit, our human nature will often rise to the surface.
So, if we sin – and we do – then why do we feel that we have to pretend – put on a fake smile – when we get together with the church? Shouldn’t the church be people who accept us as we are, because that’s the way that God accepts us in Christ? Shouldn’t the church be the people who love us in spite of our sin and problems? Shouldn’t the church know us better than anyone else, and even know about our faults, our weaknesses, and our sins, and yet love us anyway?
So, these are the questions I’ve been wondering about: 1) Why do we find it so easy to pretend when we are among the church? 2) Why do we find it necessary to pretend when we are among the church?
I think something is wrong with this picture. What is wrong? Are we willing to do something about it?