This past Sunday, my best friend texted me and woke me up earlier than intended, and I had gone to bed late the night before, so I was too tired to get up – that was excuse number 1. I also knew that I was driving down south to my parents later, and I didn’t really want to do that much driving, especially since it was a rainy day – that was excuse number 2. After a while of lying in bed, I thought, “Well, by the time I get up and shower, I won’t have much time to get ready for church. Maybe I’ll skip today” – and there we go folks, excuse number 3.
I had made the decision in my mind I wasn’t going to get up and go to church this past Sunday. Instead, I grabbed my iPhone and opened my Twitter app to look at the trending hashtags. I wanted to see if there was anything big happening in the world that people were talking about (Yes, yes, I know… what a millennial thing for me to do when I could just turn on the news, right?)
The top trending hashtag was #ImNotGoingToChurchBecause. It was basically a bunch of people criticizing the idea of going to church. People wrote things like “#ImNotGoingToChurchBecause they’re all hypocrites” or “#ImNotGoingToChurchBecause Christians won’t accept me so I won’t accept them.” As I was reading through these posts from perfect strangers, I was getting more and more angry. “This is awful! People are using this hashtag just to insult Christians who go to church! Don’t they have anything better to do?”
And that’s when I felt conviction. The Lord presented me with a simple question: “Why aren’t YOU going to church?”
“Well… these people are just using this hashtag to bash church! I think it’s horrible that they have all of these crazy reasons for not going, they’re really just trying to insult Christians.” Again, the Lord impressed upon me that question. It was almost as if He were saying, “I didn’t ask you what your opinions about them not going to church were. Why aren’t YOU going to church?” I realized that I was being pretty hypocritical and also getting dangerously close to the attitude the Pharisee had in Luke 18:11 when he said, “God, I thank you that I’m not like those people.” I thought about it for a minute – why wasn’t I going to church? If I had used that hashtag on Twitter, what would the end of my post say?#ImNotGoingToChurchBecause I’m tired? I don’t want to drive? It’s rainy? I won’t have that much time to do my hair and my makeup?
I was so angry at all of these strangers because they were giving their reasons for not going to church, but my excuses sounded much more pathetic.
Hebrews 10:25 states: [Do not forsake] the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
GotQuestions.org writes –
Church is the place where believers can love one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13), “spur” one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), instruct one another (Romans 15:14), honor one another (Romans 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32).
I got my lazy self out of bed and started to get ready for church, apologizing and repenting about my bad and judgmental attitude the entire time. And guess what? The message at church was something I really needed to hear. Isn’t it cool how God knows when we’re in a funk and cares enough to not let us stay there for long, but instead continuously teaches and guides us? Gotta love Him!
Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She loves encouraging women through her Victory Calls and finds such joy in praying for her sisters in Christ. Her favorite activities include reading her Bible, encouraging others with scripture, buying new dresses, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory… In that order!