When we speak about “the Church” doing this or that, we tend to paint a picture of pastors, elders, or those in leadership at the forefront — as if they bear responsibility for sin issues on the rise in today’s congregations. But according to Scripture, you and I are the Church. And if you and I are the Church, then the responsibility to identify and act on sin issues begins with us.
There are certain sins that Christians are always good at pointing out, usually in others. But there are a few that we tend to ignore, and these same few are the ones we also tend to commit more often ourselves.
Here are 8 sins that your church congregation and you are likely ignoring:
How often did Jesus call out the Pharisees in the New Testament? All The Time. And it was always for self-righteousness or selfishness. If you have to compliment yourself on something good you’ve done, then you aren’t doing it right. So many of us like to display our faithful acts so that others will know what good Christians we are. Christ doesn’t care what everyone else thinks of your generosity. He cares about your heart and your motivation. If you need other people to know about the good things you do, feel, or think in order to feel validated, then you need to re-evaluate.
For the record, I do NOT think patriotism in and of itself is a sin. I put this here because all too often we put faith and Christian values in the same box as political party and patriotism. The Bible is clear about the fact that Jesus’ name will be declared to ALL nations and peoples of the world. We shout, and talk about how much better we are than everyone else, but that’s not biblical. We project Christianity on to the American flag and assume that God acts American, but that’s not how it works. Celebrate American values and understand how blessed you are to live here, but remember that at the end of the day you are a citizen of heaven, and heaven will be full of people from all over the world.
Jesus is very clear about worrying. His flat out tells us not to worry. Faith requires trust. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. . .” God is love. He loved us enough to send his son to die to atone for our sins. His love is perfect; therefore, we should have nothing to fear. I know fear is inevitable sometimes. It is a major struggle for me. We are not perfect, but fear and worry are not part of the equation with Christ. These attitudes that imply a lack of faith. All we can do is remember that God is sovereign and always in control.
We talk about pride all the time in church. We consistently discuss how detrimental and dangerous it is, but it seems like we don’t recognize what pride actually is. We don’t realize that every time we refuse someone forgiveness we are acting in pride. Every time you argue with a friend, family member, or spouse and insist that you will not be the one to apologize first then you act out of pride. Remember the grace that Christ extends to you and try to extend that same grace and forgiveness to others.
To be continued…………