Go on, take a risk and go to church

By Riverine Herald

IF THE topic of church comes up, a typical response becomes: “I’m not interested in church, it’s full of hypocrites.”

The comment is absolutely spot on, for I am such a person.

Look no further than me if you’d like to spot a real-life example of hypocrisy!

I wind up doing things that I didn’t intent to. And I fail to do other things, despite well-made plans.

A distinct gap appears in my life, between ideal and real; hypocrisy is alive and well in me.

Still, I think if you took an honest look at your life, you may end up admitting the same.

Surely this time of year amplifies how frail we are in following through on commitments.

It usually doesn’t take long to reveal how lousy we are at New Year’s resolutions.

Although we may have kickstarted 2019 with great intentions, four weeks in, we become aware that ‘changing everything’ is going to be much harder than we first imagined.

Falling back into old habits becomes effortless.

What we said we’d do, and what we actually end up doing, can spin in opposite directions.

As I consider these human tendencies, I become less and less concerned about hypocrisy.

Because in the end, I don’t expect perfect standards anyhow.

Why would I — as one knowing what it is like to be human — judge anyone else for being that?

Consequently, I anticipate that even the best of people will occasionally fail, I expect they will stumble and fall, I realise they will not always measure up.

Hypocrisy will forever exist in humanity, so encountering the shortcomings of others doesn’t hold any surprise.

There will be a gap between stated values and shown values.

But since when is this newsworthy.

However, I still have concerns, not so much the existence of hypocrisy, but certainly, of honesty.

I’m not alarmed that people are a work in progress, I’m far more bothered if they are trying to cover up the fact.

That their character is still under development is fine, just own it.

That hypocrisy is present in their life is understandable, just don’t try pretending otherwise.

Don’t cover up, admit you get some things wrong, acknowledge the presence of hypocrisy.

Now, back to our opening statement.

For me personally, I’m not showing up to church to indicate that I’ve got all the hypocrisy in my life sorted.

It’s quite the opposite.

Church is for humble folks who know they are lost without God’s grace.

Rich Mullins explains: “Every time you go to church, you’re confessing again to yourself, to your family, to the people you pass on the way there, that you don’t have it all together’’.

‘‘And that you need their support.

‘‘You need their direction.

‘‘You need some accountability.

‘‘You need some help”.

So don’t go waiting until you’re perfect, go ahead and try a local church this weekend.

Jonathon Schroder,

New Life Baptist Church