In 2007, I started a blog called “In Hot Pursuit of God” and then quickly subtitled it “Broken”. God has faithfully guided me on a journey of spiritual transformation.
After being caught up in God’s love and the change I was experiencing daily…for years, I came to a wall. I stopped feeling inspired and continually transformed and I started feeling dull and stagnant. I looked to all of the usual remedies: church, small group, Bible reading, prayer, seeking wise counsel. Nothing cured the dull ache of feeling “stuck”.
I started feeling annoyed in church. I was annoyed that people were rich and coming together to congratulate each other on their “blessings”. (My perception, no factual evidence to date!) I sought out a much more missional church but left after having an impossible time connecting before committing to serve. Again, I was annoyed, angry even. After doing a search for churches within a 10 mile radius of my house, looking at their websites, and listening to their sermons, I decided to just give church a break.
For a few months, I spent Sunday mornings in my pajamas, on my couch, with my Bible and some coffee. I began reading through the gospels, one by one. I asked Jesus to reveal himself to me, as he really is, not who the churches portray him to be.
I realized that my faith was more wrapped up in church than I ever would have imagined.
I started to hunger for community, so I took a risk and started church sampling again. While I was still annoyed about some things at a particular church, I was curious about this group called Recovery. Basically, it was described as a place to find healing for whatever ails you. I visited, nervously, the next day.
What I found there shocked me. It was a zoo of people. I don’t mean it was crowded. I mean it was full of many different kinds of people. They didn’t all look alike and they didn’t all act alike. I would come to find out that they didn’t all struggle alike either. The one thing they had in common? Sin
They were all looking sin in the eye. They were tired of trying to overcome their addictions and compulsive behaviors on their own. They were ready for a big, righteous, merciful God. They had nothing to bring to him, except their sin.
As I sat with 30-40 people and heard some of their stories, watched them worship Jesus, and saw them really listening to each other, I thought, “This is it. This is church.”
That was four months ago. Now I’m of the belief that everyone needs Recovery. It’s for those who sin. Hello. Who doesn’t sin?
And so I can say now that a message of forgiveness that comes without a message of our broken and evil souls, is an empty message. To pursue God’s formation of the heart, we must be desperate for a cure for our own insanity (trying to be good enough on our own).
What would happen if Christian churches started being honest with their congregations about the state of their hearts?