From the Reflections Column Archives 9-13-15)
A But in a Pew
“If only your service had more uplifting music, then I would consider attending church.”
“If only your service had softer music, then I would consider attending church.”
“If only the sermon was livelier, then I would consider attending church.”
The reasons for missing out on a church service, and I have used many of them myself. I have talked about the missing “spirit” in the church. I have complained that the music was too loud, or too dull, or too painful (yes, I have been in one of those services). And all of this has happened in the last year because there is always an excuse.
I attended a secular conference and went to hear a speaker. “You’ve already heard her give that talk.” The organizer of the conference shared with me.
I told him then that if I was not able to get something new out of what she shared then the problem was not her but me.
And yet, I expected to be informed, entertained, educated, and fed each and every Sunday. I choose to put the responsibility squarely on the person standing at the front of the room.
The truth is painful sometimes, but it does not change the truth. I am the one responsible. The excuses attempt to shift the blame. The attempt always fails. If I am not getting what I need from attending church, then the problem is sitting with me. If the Holy Spirit is absent from the service then I am just another but in the pew.
Just Another But in the Pew
- But I have no time. I have no time to read the Bible. I have no time to attend the study group. I have no time to attend church because Sunday is the only day I can get things done. I have no time . . .
But someone else could (should) do it. I am waiting for a different position. I want to do something more suited to my interests. I want to be sure I am not getting in the way of someone else getting a blessing. Someone else should do it . . .
But I have already made plans. I am attending an event. I am visiting with friends. It is our annual getaway for the girlfriends. I have tickets to the big game. I already have plans . . .
But I have no extra money to give. My money goes to pay bills. My money goes to help my kids. I am already giving money in tithes. My money is stretched as far as it can go. I have no extra money . . .
But I have no education or training. My experience is in another area. Someone with the right training should step up. I am not able to do it. I have no training . . .
My excuses for not stepping out and going “all in” with God will only grow more buts. I have to choose to invest for myself if I want to be more than another but in the pew.
Are you a but in a pew?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below and let me know what you think about being a “but.”
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