|Series Theme: Difficult Questions|
Title: 5. I can't stand Christians! Why is that?
A series that helps consider difficult questions of the Christian faith
The truth is that Christians often find Christians difficult! Why is that? Because we are still imperfect but we expect (wrongly) one another to be perfect.
A person becomes a Christian and we expect them to be instantly transformed. Well they are, but the transformation is because God has now come into this very imperfect life.
Elsewhere on this site you'll find information on what it means to be a Christian and yes, there comes a new hunger to know God, a new sense of change and transformation, but the hard truth is that God is going to spend the rest of our lives changing us - which means in the meantime we are going to have to learn to put up with all these other less-than-perfect people!
If you are not yet a Christian and Christians upset you it may be for the above reason - that you expect them to be perfect - but it may be that you are simply reacting to something you recognise they have and you haven't. There's nothing like a happy, contented and at peace person when you aren't!
The reality is that Christians are no worse than anyone else - we just expect them to be better! But to be fair, the reality, also, is that most Christians, because they now have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, HAVE got an additional resource and DO cope better than their non-Christian friends and neighbours, but it just isn't always seen obviously. You sometimes have to go through a crisis before you find it's them standing alongside you, or you have to see how they cope in a crisis before it becomes obvious how different they are.
In the meantime, they are just the same as everyone else, going through the same trials, tribulations and difficulties as everyone else and, on a bad day, not coping very well. They are just going through a learning cycle, but if you watch carefully you'll see something of God shining through in the midst of their imperfect dealing with it.
If you want to think through more deeply the whole question of living with imperfect people in church then you want to go to our book called, "Creating a Secure Church" and particularly read chapters 3 and 4.
God's long-term project for you is to transform you to make you utterly good but, as we said above, that is a life-long task. If the overall goal is us being changed (which God wants to do because He has something better for us than we are at the moment), part of that involves us being changed to love the imperfect beings around us in the world AND in the church. Have fun!