Do Saturday’s Actions Make You Feel Like You Can’t Go To Church On Sunday?
Imagine it’s the end of a long, especially tough week. Maybe some unprecedented negativity came your way. Maybe you said or did some things you regret. Maybe you’re just feeling lost and down and purposeless. The truth it, there’s an enemy to your life that wants to control and limit how we think, and how we feel, and how we respond to people and situations, and that enemy is what got you into your lousy Saturday.
It’s all too easy to develop of a limited perspective of what direction your life is taking and what kind of person you are, and sometimes we find ourselves doing and saying things that we normally would not do because we’ve developed such a narrow opinion of ourselves. Sometimes we allow some negative thoughts or outside opinions to impact how we value ourselves. Sometimes we start thinking and saying things like “I deserve this negative thing,” or “I’m not good enough for this,” just because we’ve wandered from God’s path and let the enemy subtly influence us. Next thing you know, it’s Saturday night, and maybe you ditch the path entirely because the idea of turning around and accepting God’s grace just doesn’t seem possible. Then you go on and use other ways to cope with your overwhelming negativity.
Then Sunday morning comes along, and in the cold light of day, we are faced with our decisions and their consequences. We are not proud of them and they are not the choices that we would make if we’d been thinking clearly and had a better, Christ-centered perspective on our hardships. Our hindsight is 20/20, and on this particular Sunday morning, we sure wish we would have done things differently.
You look in the mirror Sunday morning and see a stark contrast to the person you were Saturday night. A voice somewhere inside you says,
“You don’t deserve to go to church. What kind of person would do what you did on Saturday and then go to church on Sunday?”
You see, we have the wrong idea of what church is.
The enemy wants to tell us that church is only for perfect people who gather together with bright clean scrubbed faces, where everything is pretty and it’s all puppies and rainbows – but that’s not the church that God describes in Scripture. It’s not the church that Jesus says he came here to start.
The church is a place where we can be real, honest, and open. Church is a place where we seek out truth about who Jesus Christ is and what his word can do for our lives. It is a place where the power of the Holy Spirit can change and transform lives, where life change is revealed and celebrated. It’s a place for asking tough questions and confronting doubts, where faith and all of its different levels – big as a mountain, small as a mustard seed – is exercised like a muscle to get stronger.
The church is meant for all of us who stumble and fall in life – which is everybody. Church isn’t for those perfect clean-scrubbed people because they don’t exist. Church isn’t only those who have everything put together because there aren’t any people like that. That’s why we have Jesus in the first place.
Church is a place where we come in and encounter God together, where we gain perspective from one another, and where we gain help from one another. Church is where we celebrate that God is God and that He redeems us, saves us, and restores and corrects and redirects and leads and loves us. He carries and overcomes the challenges in everything that we face.
So I really don’t care what happened on Saturday. There’s no better place to be than church on Sunday.
Sunday is claiming the reality that you want and rejecting the enemy’s reality from Saturday. Sunday is claiming the truth of who Christ is. Sunday is recognizing – or admitting to ourselves – that we are loved and forgiven, not by who we are and what we do, but because of who Jesus Christ is and what he has done.
There is always going to be a voice that tells you you’re not worthy, but what we need to do is listen to the voice of truth, which says “Do not be afraid – I’m with you.” When you listen to the voice that says “I’ve come for you,” “You are precious in My sight,” and “You are my beloved,” the enemy’s voice gets fainter and fainter. We need to allow the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the living Word to transform us.
Saturday may have been tough, but Sunday can be a day of redemption and renewal. And Monday? Well, Monday can be the start of a brand-new life, a new life in Christ! Monday could be the best day of the week.
You may have heard the tale of “Rabbi” Duncan, a Scottish minister, who spotted a young woman in his congregation passing along the communion cup without drinking from it. She didn’t feel she was worthy. Duncan sent the cup back to her, saying “Take it – it’s for sinners.” Church is for sinners. Church is for everyone who feels like they did or said the wrong thing, because church is where those things are erased. Nothing can or should stop you from being in the right place on Sunday.