Monday, June 13, 2011

Being Perfect vs Being Right


My husband and I are in the process of looking for a new church.

This has not been a decision we've made lightly. My husband and at met at our current church 15 years ago. We have many friends there and are surrounded by people who knew us back when we were awkward and making some questionable fashion choices. Many of the babies we used to care for on Sunday mornings have grown into teens, and they now care for my kids while I attend "big church." We are known and we know others. It's a very comfortable church for us to attend.


When my husband and I moved back to Kansas City after a couple years away, we decided to return to the church we'd grown up in. We knew it had problems, but we felt all churches did, and that we could accept these. Now, 3 1/2 years later, some other problems have come to our attention - glaring ones that we feel wrong ignoring. And after 6 months of wrestling with what God wanted us to do in this situation, we chose to look for another church.

When we've told our friends at church, their response has been very interesting. The first thing many of them have said is, "You know, there's no perfect church."

I've found myself feeling insulted by this. It's not like we're known church-hoppers. In some ways I think it's good that there's a general acceptance (at least among our friends) that there's no perfect church out there. It's good to realize that church is made of people and people are imperfect. But I also think it can become an excuse to turn away and ignore behaviors and habits and decisions the church is making that clearly go against what the Bible teaches.

Same with relationships. I have often put up with toxic relationships much longer than I should have because I told myself there were no perfect people. I have watched others marry simply because they were scared they would never find someone else. "No one's perfect," they say. "There's no reason to think I won't be as happy with this flawed person as I would any other."

Again, it's good to be mindful that people aren't perfect, that you'll never find the "perfect" friend or the "perfect husband" or the "perfect" church. But I think by staying in open communication with God you can find the right friends, the right husband, and the right community of believers for you.

Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers and does so on her blog www.GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com.

9 comments:

NoviceArtist said...

As a pastor's wife, you are right on target. Follow God's voice. After seeing churches from a different vantage point, and then reading your post...please continue to follow the Holy Spirit leading. As the old spiritual song says, "Though none go with me, still I will follow..." ((HUGS)) This may be a painful time in your life as you make your transformation. Your eyes have been opened and He will lead you to another church.

Erica said...

Stephenie,

I can tell you an entire book of how my husband and I went from being active church members at a local church to being "silently ousted". The behaviors there I felt were awful, unfulfilling and Jesus seemed to be made into this superficial person interested in money and fashion.

Again, I can go on and on, but I will say this: This past year, God has been showing us that there is no perfect church, yet God is looking for a church without "spot or wrinkle" as stated in Revelations. So if a church member does not have the right behavior and motive, they should pray about it and be active in changing their ways.

We have decided to not look for another church but are fellowshipping with two neighboring churches on occassion. God has called us on a new mission and that is to go Beyond the Four Walls and help others using our Love. Thats the bottom line.

Feel free to email me sometime: rain200@msn.com

My other online sites are:
www.thewriteweb.wordpress.com and www.purpleanimefever.blogspot.com

Tonya said...

Wow Stephanie! Did you ever hit the nail on the head for me today! I've been wrestling with that fact the I have a toxic friendship & I've let it go on too long, I can't keep subjecting myself to it. Even though nothing is ever perfect if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything
Thanks for another reminder I'm headed in the right direction

Stephanie Morrill said...

I was so nervous when I hit "publish" on this post, thinking, "Is ANYBODY going to relate to this?"

"NoviceArtist" I have so much respect for families called into ministry. What a difficult road it is for you guys! Thank you so much for the encouraging words.

Erica, "silently ousted" is a term we have grown unfortunately familiar with. I thought cliques were supposed to stop in high school. What a sad discovery!

Tonya, that is NO fun. A book that really helped me put my toxic relationships in place was Boundaries. My mother-in-law loaned it to me when I was going through yucky friendship stuff, and it really gave good perspective.

Nicole @Project Inspired said...

Love this. I am always trying to think about whats right versus trying to be perfect. I think it's what many of us struggle with.

Erica said...

Let God lead you where to go. As I've mentioned, God has been confirming things for me and my family of our next steps and we were all shocked when the answer was not to "go into another church"-we want to be a part of God's church and fellowship takes place in the church as well as out.

God bless you on your journey and things will be alright :)

f9233468-80de-11e0-81b6-000f20980440 said...

Wow Stephanie. I needed to hear that message. Thanks so much for being an open vessel to the holy Spirit!

Rebekah said...

Beautiful post! I am finally catching up on my blog reading and came across this. I have dealt with a similar situation on the college level with fellowships. I've been a part of the same fellowship for 2 and a half years of college. I always imagined that I would keep attending conferences with the friends I met in freshmen small groups. However, God had something different, and I will soon find out that its better, in mind for me. I no longer felt called to my usual fellowship and started looking for another where I could be encouraged in the Word. I found one, praise God! (That was actually the easy part.) The hard part was finding comfort in Christ during the transition. Leaving a church or group inevitably means those relationships will be different and that I have to meet new people. I know it will all for the best and I'm looking forward to seeing God's purposes realized in my final year of college. I'll pray for you to experience that peace as well!

Stephanie Morrill said...

Rebekah, thank you so much for sharing! You're right; that transition in the old relationships can be so difficult. Prayers are appreciated, and I'll say some for you as well!


Girls, God, and the Good Life

 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.