Encouragement, Confession, Home
So, this weekend was a little different than I thought it would be, mainly b/c I decided to go to Paducah with Kacey after I got off work Saturday. One of my favorite things about going home is being able to go to church at my home congregation on Sunday. I don't know what it is about being there, but I love it. Part of it is being able to sing with my family. But I can't explain the rest. The last girl I took home back in the spring said that she loved seeing me there, b/c I was the most "me." I can't totally explain it, but she was pretty head-on.
On this particular Sunday, I'll admit that I didn't really focus during the first 5 minutes of Terrell's sermon. But when I did finally reel myself in, I was blessed with a great message. The idea of it was Encouragement. He talked about the different types of encouragement a little. But what really got me was when he was mentioning how much of an encouragement it is when someone who has dealt with one issue in the past helps someone who is dealing with the same issue in the present. And this really got me thinking.
One of the greatest purposes of the church has two facets:
These two things really go hand-in-hand. (A)When a person confesses, they need encouragement. (B)The greatest encouragement they can get is from someone who has been there, and can live to tell about it.
The strongest relationships I have had, both in dating and friendship, were with people who had seen me at my best, the way God wanted me to be, AND AT THE SAME TIME had seen me at my weakest, struggling to breath underwater. And it was the same way with them. In the same way I also have some of those relationships that maybe we didn't see each other at our weakest, but we've been honest with each other about our past and our faults.
After being that vulnerable with someone, and they are vulnerable with you, there is an automatic trust there. And it creates an atmosphere of freedom, a sense that the other person really knows who you are. Not only that, they still want to be around you, love you, and think you are worth something! These are relationships that don't die, no matter how often you talk or see each other.
Imagine an atmosphere where you can walk in, be transparent, have honest people tell you they love you, and are able to worship in that atmosphere that suddenly reminds you of Grace. That is the Church. That is the place where people come Home.
If we are honest with ourselves individually first, then with God and each other, this Home will exist.
People run home, for cover, sprinting to the safe place, the place where they can avoid the battle for just a little, while they regain their strength. Will we give it to them? Or will they walk into an ambush?