Yes! Thank God it’s Sunday! You think to yourself as you turn over and slap the blaring alarm. You don’t even have to hit the snooze button. It’s the best day of the week, I get to go to church!
You walk in the double glass doors and see the same two greeters as every service. “Good morning brother!” You exchange a hand shake, you turn and hug the sister’s neck. What a blessing to have a church family. Worship service is great as always, the spirit of God really moved! Lives were touched!
“Shake hands with one another, be friendly!” The pastor says as the usher brings the offering plate. You go across the sanctuary where you you share a quick story of something that happened to you last week with the sweet elder lady across the pew.
Bro. So and So, you notice, shakes everyone’s hands but yours. He barely even glances at me. You think to yourself. What did I do to him? Come to think of it, he walks by me every service without ￼ acknowledging me. You shrug your shoulders and brush it off. Oh well. Time for the word of God! You open your bible While still continuing to steal glances at your so called “brother in the Lord”.
The week goes on, you’ve been down to the church twice already this week to help with cleaning the bathrooms, and vacuuming the church. Somebody has to do it. And it seems the only people who do anything around the church is the pastor’s family and a few others. Why aren’t the other people who don’t work full time jobs down here helping? I have other things I want to do. But someone has to do it, right? So, you mop the floors, and replace the tissue boxes. It’s your routine now.
Saturday rolls around. Church tomorrow. I don’t really feel like getting up early. Oh well, God still needs to be praised. I wonder what kind of mood brother and sister so and so will be in. You get to church with your best smile on. You see them, there’s that brother again, he’s over there talking to the pastor in the corner. It’s probably about me. You go through worship service, raise your hands so no one thinks something wrong with you. But you’re just not feeling it. You think about just getting home and taking your nap. Then, the pastor’s message. Oh, why is he preaching about faithfulness? Doesn’t he know I’m one of the most faithful ones in this church? He keeps looking right at me. I wonder what the pastor has against me.
And now, what started off as a seed, has grown a small root. Every service thereafter leaves you a little more disgruntled. If it’s not the pastor or pastor’s wife, it’s your own brother. Your own sister. Instead of praying about it, you begin talking to your worldly friend about how you feel the church is doing you wrong. The pastor preaches standards. Why, can’t I do that? My heart is right. That’s ￼unnecessary.
You use to look forward to every service. The church use to be your safe place, the place you found peace. Now, you’re offended at the pastor, brother so and so has become a thorn in your side and you don’t even want to greet the sweet elder at the end of your pew. You go through the motions during worship service. Your seed now has multiple roots.
You’re stone cold during the preaching. Nothing moves you anymore. You go to lunch Sunday afternoon and hear someone talking bad about the pastor. Normally, that would anger you. Now, you feed off it.
Church tomorrow? I don’t feel like going. I’ll stay home. I can pray here. The roots are spread so far now, what’s growing from that seed is not colorful. It is not fresh. It is black and full of sin. And it is taking over your heart. You become unreachable. Unmovable. Maybe there’s another church that is better. You think to yourself, as you have missed several services in a row, ignoring the calls from the pastor. You haven’t even prayed that God would take away your bitterness. Now, you thrive off of your animosity.
You don’t go to the church anymore, not to clean, not to pray, not to worship.
How did you get here? Not living for God. Backslidden. Bitter. Disconnected. The church across town was no better, because the problem isn’t the church. It’s you. You didn’t pray out the bad seed. You left it there, to grow into a garden of enmity and resentment.
God help me! Your backslidden state has left you miserable. You want to come back. What happened to me? It started so small, but it got fertilized and watered, until it grew.
You see, ￼seeds are planted all the time. Some grow into beautiful sunflowers that bring forth light, and some grow into weeds that are ugly and harmful to the rest of the garden.
Saint of God
Be careful which seeds you water.