But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
It is impossible to please God without trusting Him. And without trust, it’s impossible for your wife to please you. It’s impossible for you to please your wife. It’s impossible for you to please your kids, and it’s impossible for your kids to please you. You can go down the line with this. You need trust in your family. You have to be able to look at them and say, “You’re going to mess up. I know that, and I still love you. Thank you for trusting me. I’m glad you can come to me and tell me how you messed up. I trust you too, so I’m going to tell you how I messed up. I don’t necessarily do everything right, so I’m going to need some grace here. I’m going to need some forgiveness. I’m going to need some mercy. Can you extend that to me? I am a good person. I am holy and righteous in Jesus Christ.”
This is what should be happening in the church. This is the culture that the church should nourish, if it wants to thrive. Why do so many kids leave the church before they get to college? Why is the Christian church getting smaller by the day? It’s because people don’t trust each other. They judge each other. It is a drag. You have to perform, acting like everything is always great and you never make any mistakes. It is very, very exhausting.
Hanging out with non-believers can be a pretty different experience. They’re not living a moral life, so they don’t condemn you. Sometimes you feel more freedom around them than around believers, because you’re not being judged. You’re trusted. You’re just being. It’s refreshing!
I am righteous and holy, and I like to sit with non-believers. I’m not going to say, “Oh, I can’t hang around those people. They’re not righteous and holy.” You know what? I believe the aroma of Christ can flow off of them. So I’m going to make sure that they feel loved by me. I won’t partake in their lifestyle choices, and they will see that. But I’m still going to love on them and have fun with them. I’m going to make them feel comfortable. They’re going to trust me, and I’m going to trust them. We’re going to talk, and we’re going to be real.
And the next thing you know, they’re going to say, “Man, it is really a joy to be around you! I don’t have to get drunk, and I don’t have to sleep with you. I don’t have to do all that to be accepted. I can just be around you and I’m comfortable!” Or they might say, “I don’t have to brag about how many girls I’ve slept with, or how many guys I’ve slept with, or how drunk I can get on the weekends. I don’t have to brag about all of that stuff to you to feel accepted. You just accept me for who I am!” And then I can say, “Yeah! I love you man!”
When I say that, they’re going to ask why. “Why do you love me?” And I can say, “Because I’ve got Jesus, man. And I love you with the love of Jesus. And Jesus loved the sinners. He loved them!”
Back in the day, that’s how the church grew. It grew daily because of all the trust. People said, “We’re serving each other, man. You have a problem? We’re going to love on you. We’ll pray about it. We’ll ask God what to do. We’ll talk about it. But we’re not going to hide from it. We’re not going to make you hide from it. We’re not going to cause you to live in shame, and we don’t want to be ashamed of you. We live in freedom!”
And I’m telling you, this is what we are called to do. This is what the church is called to do. This is relationship.
Next time, I’ll tell you a little bit about how this looks in friendship. See you Monday.