In one of his recent sermons, Craig Groeschel addressed the issue that the church he leads has problems. He said something to the effect of, “don’t complain to me about everything our church does wrong because my list is far longer than any list you could come up with. I know what we’re good at and I know where we struggle.”
I agree with this. To an extent. If those struggles are fundamentally irreconcilable divergences with the Gospel then they aren’t really struggles. They’re abject failures and need to be complained about. In the case of LifeChurch I don’t see that to be the case.
If we’re being honest, and we are (though I know that may be hard to believe since the entire premise of this blog is based on the fact that I straight-face lied to all of my friends and most of my family for 6 straight months in regards to the future of my marital status), it’s pretty easy to look at our couple friends (dating and married) and demean their inadequacies while ignoring our own. I’d like to congratulate myself on that 75-word sentence I just typed. If it’s topped in the near future I’ll be sure and let you know.
If we actually believe in other people (and I hope we do) and find importance in their friendship (I’m confident in this) then should we not also trust that their list of what they “do wrong” is far lengthier than the one we made in our heads on the way home from hanging out with them? And shouldn’t we spend our words and thoughts on other, more important things? Are we that insecure in our own relationship that the areas of “failure” for some of our closest friends serve to fulfill our own prideful void? I should point out that there is a time and place to confront those who are close to you out of love and wisdom if you find their actions to not be representative of the Gospel they claim to represent.
Outside of that though, can any good come from making imaginary bullet points summarizing the “failure” of the marriages and relationships close to us? (I continue to put “failure” in “ ” because most of what we deem “failure” is simply us not being open-minded enough to recognize that it’s OK that people do things differently from us).
Maybe one of these days I’ll start taking my own advice…