Church People

May 12, 2022 — Krystal Craven
Devotional title text overlaying a small church congregation during worship with hands raised in worship. The image is taken from behind the congregation and the back wall behind the worship team is a brick wall.

And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon.. (Luke 4:31-33a)

Jesus went into the synagogue teaching on the Sabbath and in there was a demon possessed man. Don’t you wonder what a man who was demon possessed was doing in a synagogue?

This really brings front and center that just because someone is in a church doesn’t mean they are saved. They could even be demon possessed.

Being Hurt by Church People

So many people get hurt by people in their church, and yes that could be by other Christians because we’re all imperfect, but we have to know that we can’t expect perfection from people in the church whether they’re saved or not. I’ve heard it said that the church is like a hospital, where Christians come to get healed. I won’t fully disagree, but I think of the church more of like a big restaurant where we all come together to eat the meat of the Word and serve one another. Sometimes we feel like the food has been served cold, or the server wasn’t as quick as we’d like, or we felt the way they spoke to us wasn’t as pleasant as we’d prefer. Except, because this example is not perfect, we shouldn’t decide to never come back to the restaurant if we feel like the service towards us wasn’t the greatest. We should be serving as well and have grace and understanding for one another, as well as getting together when we’re not serving or sitting at church, to do life together the way Jesus intended.

Meeting Your Needs

There can be a great danger and disservice in our representation of Christ when we look to the people in the church to meet the needs only God should be meeting.

The church shouldn’t ever be what we look to as our example or our fulfilling, only Jesus should be in that role. There is no pastor, teacher, leader, or person otherwise that will perfectly meet your needs or fulfill the desires of your heart because the Church is made up of imperfect people just like you and me.

You may have gotten saved in a church building, but the Church didn’t save you. The Church can’t sanctify you, the Church won’t take you up into heaven and glorify you one day, only God can do those things. So if you’re placing too much expectations on the Church, our fellow brothers and sisters who are being sanctified right along with you, then I can guarantee you’re going to be hurt and disappointed and the devil will gladly tempt you in those feelings. In addition, if we’re placing our expectations and hopes and desires of fulfillment in the Church and the people who make it up, then we’re creating an idol.

Jesus designed His Church to be a family, and with every family there are familial spats that arise and need to be resolved. If we are operating as the family Church that God desires us to be, we’ll not only be pleasing to the Lord, but we’ll be more able to serve and help those around us, including any demon possessed people who walk through the doors of the church.

How to Respond

Last week we read about Jesus walking with purpose in His calling, and today echoes a similar message – regardless of the little details of your church’s worship services, BE the Church in and out of the building. Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10).

Lastly, if you have something against someone in the Church that has been left unresolved, I encourage you to go to them and make amends. It could have been a misunderstanding, it could have been purposeful, or maybe they never even realized how you were hurt, but you can’t gain your sibling in Christ back if you won’t go to them. God doesn’t want falling outs in His family, so go “Matthew 18” it and as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people (Romans 12:18).

And if you have made any idols of people in the Church, it’s time to tear them down from that place in your heart and return to magnify your first love of Jesus. If we all looked to love and serve one another as Christ did and does for us, we’d be the Church that God desires.