This week has been a time of recognizing my own cynicism about the church. I keep trying to love the church because I do love God and I know he loves the church, but I still struggle with that quest. I wonder if I will ever be successful in restoring my heart with this cynicism, and yet I am uncertain what steps to take to change things. My struggle isn’t really about loving the church, because I care so much about it (the people in the institution, not the institution), but rather it is because the church breaks my heart. As I read scripture about what the church should be, we are so far from the mark. As I read about how I should live and what life as a Christian should be like I am left questioning if I should even call myself a Christian because I am so far from that image.
The question of many secular people is not, “Why doesn’t the church look more like us?”” Rather, their perceptive question (and God’s too) is, “Why doesn’t the church look more like Jesus?” (Quote from The Dangerous Act of Worship by Mark Labberton)
Do I know people in the church who really look like Jesus? I recognize we will never completely achieve that, but if we have walked with God for 10, 20, 40, 70 years shouldn’t we look a lot like him? Shouldn’t our decisions be more aligned with his?
I feel so torn with a desire to live differently and be connected with others who feel the same way, and yet that has never been my experience in life. Overcoming this cynicism is possibly my greatest battle to fight through in this journey of restoration.