“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’” -Psalm 126:2
“A cheerful heart is like medicine.” -Proverbs 17:22
Recently a friend sent me this funny quote from a church bulletin: “Remember in prayer the many that are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you.”
Pretty funny… but with enough truth to make you think. We who have been in a church community for a while may not realize that some people might be sick of the church! Do we have a reputation of only reporting gloom and doom? Are we convinced people are hard to love where it might be we who are hard to love?
When our church community becomes nothing but a cozy bubble, we turn the church into nothing more than a suffocating place where we can complain and use our inside jokes on each other. That comfortable feeling can put up walls for newcomers and a message that says, “Don’t bother breaking into our group.”
Christ’s community should always be reaching outward. We who have found a new life in Christ should become the most winsome of people. If we reoriented our attitudes and filled them with the Holy Spirit we might be shocked at how many would like to hear our message. Who wouldn’t like to be around happy, joyful people who have a sense of humor? If we offer only deadly dull or harried hyped-up communities of worship, we will be closing the door to those who are searching.
Today, let’s not take ourselves and our family and our church so seriously. Laugh when a teenager says something crazy. Tell a story on yourself. Show the world you are human and a Christian.
Authenticity is what the world is looking for. And as an extra bonus you’ll be healthier.
Taken from: Finding Community Wherever You Are devotional book to be published in 2012 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.