You were hurt in church, so you won’t go back.

Wait…something doesn’t add up.

There’s a problem with your theory.  It doesn’t make sense.

Let me change the subject entirely now.

Let me tell you about my Jelly Fish experience…

I was jumping waves at Tybee. I was having a big ole’ time.  I can literally jump waves for hours– until I have noodles for legs.   Then…all of the sudden something HURT! Oh it itched and it ruined my moment. I literally made me mad enough to fight for about 3 seconds.  I was stung by a Jellyfish. I got out and there was literally the perfect outline of a Jellyfish “tattooed” on my leg. I’m never going back to the beach.

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Ummmm yea except…Actually I’m still gonna go to the beach. One bad experience can’t ruin my love for the beach forever.   I don’t wanna knock my family out of the enjoyment of the beach just because I had a bad experience. I have to jump waves at least once a summer.  I love the beach.….promise!

Stay with me…

I was shopping at Walmart and couldn’t find a specific item.  I asked an employee. The earbud wearing employee was grumpy, stinky, and obviously didn’t want to be there. He sent me to the pharmacy, which is on the other end of the store to get my Knox Gelatin and of course it wasn’t there.   I was fuming. I was fussing under my breath. I promise…I didn’t smile as people passed me. Then do you know what I did??? Do you know what I diddddddd?????? I took the rest of the items in my cart and went straight to the register, gave them my hundee, gathered my stuff and headed for the door.  I’ll never go there again.

Honestly…I will be going back there again.  Every Walmart isn’t the same. Everyone has a bad day…I guess that guy was just having a bad day. Yea… I’ll go back next week, and the next and the next.  They have things there I need. I’ll forget about going across the store to get my Knox Gelatin. I’ll forget about ole’ ear buddy and his stank and I’ll be tickled to death pull up in the parking lot to row 9, throw my car up in park, get me a buggy, start on ilse 1 and fill ‘er up.  I’ll smile to the cashier, thank her, tell her not to put my Kit Kat in the bag, show my ticket to the guy at the door and head for the hills. (I’ll eat my Kit Kat on the way home but that’s a rabbit trail.)


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Seriously…how many scenarios can you put yourself into that is exactly the same?  Lowe’s, Steak House, Cracker Barrel, Target, Food-City, the gas station….CHURCH…..Staples, Big Lots…. (except not Food City cause they never disappoint but that’s another rabbit trail.)

“Hold it! Back it up, sis..did you mean to say CHURCH???”  Easy now….

Actually I did mean to say CHURCH; Let me try and guess what happened.

You enjoyed going to church.  Worship was amazing. You just felt at home.  Your family was enjoying going to church too.  The kids loved their Sunday School teacher. The pastor could preachhhhhhhhhh.  The building was beautiful. It smelled nice and it was clean. They had an overhead projector so you could see the words to the songs and the words to the scriptures.  Almost all of the people were kind and someone always spoke to you. When your father passed away, the pastor and his wife visited and the church sent beautiful flowers.  Once when your husband was in the hospital, the church ladies fixed meals for our family. Genuinely kind people. The salt of the earth.

So you decided you weren’t going back.  Whaaaaaa??? Something must’ve happened.

It was over um…let me see…maybe your kid was sitting with this other lady’s kid and she told him to be quite.  It irritated you but you overlooked it. Then you were in a rough patch and weren’t paying tithes and the pastor preached on tithing.  You think he did it on purpose just to make you feel guilty. Then that one time your family was out of church because you were on vacation (you were doing better) and the deacon only called once to check on you. Also, you donated a flower arrangement to the church for Easter and they never thanked you once publicly. And this one lady always looked at you hateful when you would take Jimmy out to the bathroom. It could be a host of other things but we’ll chop it off right there for now…. So that’s why. That’s the reason you decided to quit church.

I’d mentioned at the beginning about something not adding up…  Let me see if I can help you see my reasoning as to why your theory doesn’t make sense to me.

I assume you are going to expect me to say this is all your fault for being petty……NOPE! You have a right to feel how you feel. Sometimes things are hard to overlook.  I get that. But…

Let’s deal with this right now, so you can get some victory, friend!

You were not the one that did all of those things, yet you are the one being punishing. And on top of that you are doing the punishing. (I guess we’ll have to call you “the punisher”)

What happened to you in church was wrong. You deserve an apology.  Unfortunately, unless you go to someone and hash it out with them, it’s probably going to be forgotten about. And even if you did, they might very well say “I’m so sorry…I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings…it wasn’t intentional.”

It wasn’t every pastor that preached on tithing when you were in a hard place.  It wasn’t every deacon that didn’t call you when you were on vacation. It wasn’t every kid’s mom that told Jimmy to hush and certainly none of that had anything to do with Jesus.

You wouldn’t punish little Jimmy for his brother hitting him would you?  Why would you hold yourself, the church and Jesus responsible for those things happening?

People are gonna be people. The truth is that the pastor probably doesn’t even know who does and does not tithe.  It’s possible that that sister that looked at you cross ways when you took Jimmy out, didn’t mean anything by it. It might just be her natural facial expression (bless her heart).   

Oh and there’s the satan factor in all of it.  He has a way of setting you up to be offended so that you won’t go back to church and learn how to fight him.  He is so powerless when we learn how to fight him that he trembles when you go to church and especially when you go to a church where the presence of the Lord resides.

People are people but Jesus isn’t people.

So why are you holding Jesus, yourself, the pastor, the deacon, the worship team, the Sunday school teachers, the bus drivers, your spouse, your parents, your kids hostage from church and the presence of the Lord because of your bad experience?

You have yourself in jail when the key is hanging on the wall within your reach. (Think Otis in Andy Griffith).

It’s time to turn this around on the devil and get up and  go on with God. 

How though? How do you move forward?

–Think on the good things that you get from going to church and choose to focus on those things and put the other things in the background.

Philippians 4:8 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I know it’s hard but sometimes you have to just decide to just let some things go.  

Matthew 5:38-40 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a]39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

–Examine yourself before noticing others.

Matthew 7:3-5

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 

And last but certainly not least

–GO BACK TO CHURCH– You are needed and MISSED and i’m sure you are LOVED!

Hebrews 10:25 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

See Ya Sunday, friend!