I recently wrote a post, “The Place Where all the Nice People Are”, which garnered quite a few views all over the world–to my great surprise. Based on my blog stats, people must be Googling to find out where the nice people are. This got me thinking: I wonder if there is an absence of nice people around which causes people to go looking.
One place you would expect there to be nice people is at church. Or maybe you have come not to expect that at all.
We spent several years in search of a church family. The problem is that it was quite common to find ourselves among people who seemed to care less about anyone. We went to a couple churches for several months where not one person even asked us who we were–not even once–not even the pastor! We would come and go week after week without any real interaction with others.
Then there was the church where a man came to us and boastfully greeted us by stating, “We are an accountability church. We will hold you accountable for what you do.” Really? How about putting your own pride in check there buddy? (Sorry, that one made me a little angry.)
I even had a woman at a church (actually, the pastor’s daughter) tell me that she may consider allowing me into their clique. May consider? Lady, I wouldn’t want to be part of a clique that excludes others. That’s not what church is all about! (That one made me angry too!)
You know, John 13:35 (NIV) says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” If the church is to be anything, it is to be a place where people love each other…you know, like a family does but only better (especially if you come from a dysfunctional family). In a functional family, you realize your loved ones aren’t perfect, but you still accept them because that’s what God did for you. You weren’t perfect. There was nothing you could do on your own to be part of God’s family. Christ bridged that gap, being the atoning sacrifice for your sins. This is what let you be part of God’s family, the church, in the first place. Therefore, we show love to others because of what Christ did for us not because they are worthy of it and most certainly not for our own power trip.
Maybe people wouldn’t be at a loss for finding where all the nice people are if more of those who claimed to be Christ’s disciples loved one another like Christ commanded us to do instead of judging, gossiping, controlling others, and even just ignoring people altogether. After all, church should be the place where all the nice people are because people will know we are Christians by our love.