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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sunday Christians

When I was a teenager I came across a lot of people who told me Christians are hypocrites.  I never really understood this because I was always taught that we are all (including Christians) sinners.  As I have gotten older I can see why non believers view many Christians as hypocrites though.  There are a lot of "Sunday Christians" out there and I definitely went through this stage in my life.  Actually, I was more like a "Once a month Sunday Christian".  I went to church when I was feeling empty and needed a good pick me up.  I have learned this is most definitely the wrong reason to go to church.

I grew up Episcopalian/Anglican and went to church every single Sunday with my parents until I moved away for college.  Our church was never really geared toward youth and I never felt like I learned much I could apply to my life at that time so I would occasionally go to a Baptist youth group on Wednesdays.  My parents also encouraged me to go on youth retreats which is where I constantly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I know the longing for the Holy Spirit is what drove me back to church as a young adult.  While I may not have gotten much out of Sunday church I am and will always be grateful to my parents for giving me that foundation, stability, example and planting that seed in my heart to love and know Jesus. 

Fast forward several years... Garrett and I tried many churches when he was stationed in Connecticut and Virginia.  We just couldn't find the right fit.  During this time in my life I just never felt like I was being a "good Christian" because I could not find the right church.  Our marriage started getting pretty rocky after Garrison was born.  There wasn't any particular incident... it was just the reality of being out of the military and being super tight on money and learning how to be married and be parents and grow up all at the same time.  It wasn't until that time that I learned just how much I needed, make that, CRAVED Jesus.  I tried so hard to fix my marriage on my own.  I tried to fix me.  I tried to fix Garrett.  I finally gave up on trying on my own and started reading devotionals.  It was unbelievable to me how every time I would start a devotional or randomly open the Bible to a page He would speak to me.  I would think it would be so easy for us to just get a divorce and then I would pray and pray for God to tell me what to do.  I would open His word and it would be right there in black and white specifically telling me to stay and that only God could make things right, not me.  I once told my sister I felt like an addict at times.  It's like I NEEDED to hear His word to bring me out of my confusion and worldly thinking.

Again, I find myself rambling.  The point to all of this is that I found Jesus, and I mean really found Jesus, through life circumstances, finding encouragement from fellow believers and through His word.  I do not think there is a perfect church on this earth.  One person might get more out of a traditional church with hymns and communion every Sunday and one person may get more out of a church with contemporary music and a dynamic preacher.  I think church is a necessity for believers to spiritually grow, praise Him and have fellowship with other believers.  I also think it is extremely important to have your kids in church from a young age so they can learn about Him and His teachings.  But I think it is most important for each of us to spend time daily with God to strengthen our personal relationships with Him and not just be "Sunday Christians".


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