We send text messages, respond to text messages, and send emails. We message others asking or convincing our recipient to think about or do something. Or when we choose not to respond to someone’s question we are responding. When we react to a person or situation, we are in essence sending a message. I recently read an article entitled, “The Ugly in Christianity.” The point of the article is this, if we aren’t careful, we can repel visitors or push members of our congregation away from the church by the messages we send with our words or lack of words!
The article was written by a former member of the church in a widely circulated publication (the author put the Lord’s church in a very negative light). It was painful reading the article and I do not agree with the approach the author took to “make a point” but I walked away challenged.
At the age of 18, the author was already questioning her faith and she didn’t feel included. She then witnessed one of the members in her congregation reacting positively to the death of a controversial political figure of that time period. She observed this at a fragile stage in her life and felt the love of her church family only extended to her congregation’s borders.
Someone once told me, “No matter how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides.” We do not know the family & spiritual circumstances of the author. However, I do know regardless of our age, we are all fragile, tender, and seeking answers. While we never compromise truth, we should always abound in love (I Thessalonians 3:12) in and outside the church. We have a responsibility to be kind, loving, and patient (I Corinthians 13:4-7). What messages are we sending?