A lot of people think the church is based on how perfect or spiritually mature everyone is.
If you think that way, you’re always going to be disappointed in God’s church. Why? Because people continually fall short of what you think the appropriate moral standard is.
Should we have standards? Of course! But keep this in mind…
In Romans 15:1-2 Paul writes, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”
When he says “strong” he doesn’t mean physical strength; he means spiritual maturity. Although he was writing about a specific situation that concerned the church in Rome, one of the things it underscores is that the church includes people who are at various points along the path of discipleship.
So where do we go from here?
First, our common bond as Christians and churches is the risen Jesus. That’s beyond dispute.
Second, if you’re new to the faith, the church community is a place where you should be able to find wise mentors who can help and guide you.
Third, if you’re one of the spiritually mature ones, the church community is a place where you can guide newer Christians as they try to identify and follow the footsteps of Jesus.
The church isn’t based on how perfect or spiritually mature everyone is. If it was, none of us would make the grade. It’s based on the risen Jesus. He’s the only one who gets an A+ on his report card under “Always Does God’s Will.”
But as for the rest of us, our congregations are profoundly enriched when we see each other as fellow-travelers, reach out when we need counsel, give counsel when it’s needed…
And compassionately pray for each other in the process.
By Matthew Ruttan
-Today’s “Up!” is related to my Sunday podcast called “A Saviour (not Sameness).” If you want to listen in click here. Enjoy!