A Part of Sanctification
It’s actually normal to be frustrated by the church. It’s normal to be frustrated by other Christians. I really don’t know how you could spend much time in church and not get frustrated. I would actually go so far as to say that frustration is part of the sanctification process that God intends for us in church.
To be clear, some people are in abusive situations where it goes well beyond frustration and it’s dangerous. In that case, you need to separate from that kind of situation. But some of the frustration or friction that we feel in churches is entirely normal—even expected—and it’s what drives us to understand how we need other people.
We need other people in unexpected ways. We need younger believers that we can disciple and teach. We need older believers who will do that for us. We even need the reverse. We need older believers who are willing to submit to younger leaders in the church. We need younger people who are willing to take the lead.
We need all kinds of those different relationships in multiple directions inside the church. In Philippians 2, the apostle Paul talks about sending Timothy, his protégé. He says, I don’t know anybody else who is so concerned for the welfare of people.
God intends to show us what love looks like—love across difference, love across friction, love that points to the blood of Christ.
That’s what the gathered assembly of the church offers those people who are obligated for God, who have entered into a covenant relationship as leaders and members. They are concerned for our welfare. Sometimes it becomes frustrating because our leaders mess up, because people are obnoxious, they wear the wrong perfumes, they say the wrong things. There are all kinds of frustrations in the church. That’s exactly what God intends to be able to show us what love looks like—love across difference, love across friction, love that points to the blood of Christ, which alone draws us together in the church.
Collin Hansen is the coauthor with Jonathan Leeman of Rediscover Church: Why the Body of Christ Is Essential.
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