The top reason (among many) I have personally heard as to why people don’t go to church (I used to use it myself back when I didn’t even know what the word hypocrite meant, after all, it sounded good right?) Ok, so some common synonyms for hypocrite are – Bigot, crook, impostor, phony, actor, bluffer, cheat, deceiver, fake, swindler, two-faced, just to name a few. We could probably boil that down to one word “jerks”; that kinda covers everything right? A billboard located somewhere in Texas – Say what?
Now, think about this – EVERYWHERE you go there are jerks of various kinds, but you still go, or? Like the grocery store, there are jerks there too, perhaps you were forced to converse with one of them while waiting in line, and you could tell right away they were some kind of jerk. Well, did you go to a different grocery store next time or did you come back again when you ran out of things you needed? Not me, I still like my grocery store.
Now I am just going to skip the whole topic of jerks in the workplace since its not as easy as getting out of church – Can you imagine if we could just say “I’m not going to work anymore, bunch of jerks in there”; that wouldn’t fly too well would it? – We all know where that would lead, living in a tent in the woods; if you are lucky your neighbors wont be jerks!
We all (I am just guessing here) have that favorite grocery store right? There are several in the area but we have made ONE of them our favorite. I’d be willing to bet that you have discovered just who the jerks are too. But you have also discovered some really kind people – you might even have some really great conversations with some, especially the ones that work there and you see them every time you go. I know I do!
Church is the same way, I go to get spiritual food, I take it with me into MY world (home/office/grocery store etc..) and just try to be a light in a world LOADED with people who are struggling – Heck, I know sometimes I am a jerk for sure – Not as bad as I used to be (Ask anyone who has known me for more than 15 years) I was that jerk described in paragraph 1 above in a major way, and even worse! But one day I realized that we are all in different seasons of life and people struggle, they struggle to make ends meet, to get over the loss of a loved one, marriage issues and I could go on and on and on – Sometimes those struggles cause them to lash out and be some kind of jerk.
I guess in closing, have a little patience with “those” jerks -I am sure you have never been any kind of jerk in your whole life right, but if you ever happen to slip a little and be a jerk, you would probably want someone to have a little patience with you too right? And if your looking for the perfect grocery store, you will never find one! Just go and wade through the jerks (no eye contact is key) enjoy the ones who are not jerks, and pray for the others who are – They need it!