A couple of years ago, I had a serious problem with my faith. I struggled about my beliefs towards God, thinking if He is really true. I thought, “Maybe He’s not true. Maybe we people made an imaginary perfect being just to cover our own imperfections. Maybe God is not really true, just someone or something existing within the minds of imperfect moral beings.” I came to the point of not attending church anymore because every service means nothing to me. I closed my heart and ears towards what God’s messages through the preaching of the pastor and through worship. Attending church means being with my family and friends ONLY. Attending church became an obligation to me.
Until I met my first leader in church again. It was a coincidence in a way because she rarely goes there. She attends to a different church (branch). I told her about what I was thinking. I told her about my beliefs. She told me that she also struggled about God’s existence. But it was God who led her out of her own doubts about Him. I forgot the revelation she got from God that made her believe again. It just took a bold step to have faith in Him again that took her back, at least that’s what I remembered.
When I doubt His existence, I always remember this quote (which I guess is from Philip Yancey or John Piper, my two favorite authors in theology), “…It is like being grateful with no one to thank.” It is true. Living without God is like being grateful with no one to thank. You can’t thank the flowers for suddenly popping out of the field. You can’t thank the mountains for being there. Or you can’t thank the giants who could have probably formed those mountains. Everything is not as they are without putting God into the context, without putting God into the center of the world. It just seems too wrong without God in it.
After doubting the existence of God, it was not long when I started thinking ill of our church. I thought randomly that time. While the people were praising God with all of their hearts, raising both of their hands high, I usually thought, “LORD, you see the hands of these people. They cry out to you and then turn their backs to you. They just need you for their happiness and satisfaction. They just praise you when they’re okay. They just praise you when they’re in church. But when they’re out in the real world, they are very very different people.” Honestly, I didn’t know those people I was talking about, They were all strangers to me, and I spoke and thought ill of them. I thought ill of the church, the imperfectly perfect church. I defined it as imperfectly perfect because the church is composed of imperfect people, but bonded together by a perfect God, the body of Christ. Going back, I opened this up to a concerned sister from the church. She told me that she also had thoughts about the church as “hypocrites.” But we both concluded, “Aren’t we the hypocrites when we judge others as such?”
Judging others won’t do anything good. They attend church because they are not okay. They attend church because they acknowledge their wrongdoings before God. They are honest about who they are. They don’t cover their dirt. They surrender who they really are to God. They attend church because they are in need of a friend. They attend church because their souls are so thirsty. They read their Bibles because they want to seek who God is. It is not about their imperfections anymore. It’s about who God is in their lives. This is how it should be. We need to focus on Who God really is. The problem with humanity is our tendency to be too selfish and close-minded, looking at then judging others before looking at their own wrongdoings. Thus, God led me to reading this passage in Matthew 7:3-5 (CEV):
“You can see the speck in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the log in your own eye. 4 How can you say, ‘My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you don’t see the log in your own eye? 5 You’re nothing but show-offs! First, take the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend’s eye.”
picture in this post is not mine.