I remember walking into to church for the first time after purposely staying as far from it as I could for 10 years. The music was loud, the crowds were big, and the environment was inviting. It was unlike any other church I could remember going to as a kid, and the people who made up this group were overwhelmingly kind to me. “This place is awesome” I remember thinking to myself. And I remember feeling something I had never expected to feel at a church; welcomed.
But the story doesn’t end there. No. As quickly as I had stepped into an environment that felt accepting and welcoming, the tides began to change, and I was met with a sermon from a charismatic pastor that made me feel like I had just been slapped in the face. Not because he was speaking ill or being rude, but that he was telling me things about myself I didn’t want to hear. This pastor was preaching things out of the Bible that opposed the way I was currently living my life. He said things I didn’t like. He said things that made me get defensive.
But guess what? As uncomfortable as it made me feel at that very moment, his words were exactly what I needed. This type of discomfort is something all of us need to experience. To be reminded that a life lived outside of the narrow-road, reliant on flesh and personal desires is not the life God has destined us for.
Imagine with me for a second. If I would have stepped into that church, only to be given a “feel-good” message that validated and approved everything I was currently engaging in because the pastor didn’t want to ruffle any feathers, offend someone, or ruin the opportunity for gathering someone’s tithe. How on earth would I have been expected to change? I wouldn’t have. I would have left the church with no inclination that the way I was currently living was leading me down the path of emptiness. The conviction I felt is what led me to repentance, and the repentance is what led me closer to a life that reflected Jesus.
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Source: Christian Post