Lately, I sense I have fallen into a trap. Sunday comes, and because of our current situation, I find myself watching my sermon online with my family. Honestly, I usually watch my mannerisms and repeated phrases. It is humbling to see yourself public speaking. Then, because every Church is online these days, I will scroll through my Facebook feed and look at what other Churches are doing.
It is incredible how quickly I can go from worshipping God to comparing myself to other people. I can shift from “Thank you God for our Church,” to some distorted view of worship. This move goes one of two directions.
First, I can quickly be filled with a sense of pride. “Oh God, I thank you I am not like those clueless Churches.” Some of the videos I am seeing are horrendous. With all the modern technology, it amazes me how some Churches are doing so poorly. My ego swells, and my pride in my Church overflows.
Second, I can just as quickly be filled with shame. “Oh God, why is my Church not like those technologically advanced Churches?” Some of the videos I am seeing are tremendous. The quality of production rivals Hollywood. I am amazed with all the technology out there that we are doing so poorly. My shame grows, and my dislike of my Church overflows.
It is so easy for believers to find Sunday morning invigorating or humiliating because we are comparing our Church worship to other Churches in our town and across the country. As I was thinking about this over the past week, I have had conversations with other Christians who had told me the same thing. On Sunday morning, they are watching multiple worship programs, and it is causing their emotions to ebb and flow with whomever they are watching. This is not healthy for our souls.
My plea for you is the same thing I plan on practicing for the rest of this break. The moment I start watching another Church program, and I start comparing it to the Church I attend, I am going to shut it off and move along. It is not good for my soul and yours. It breeds discontentment and arrogance in the lives of believers. If we don’t, I fear that this time of “online Church” will make us more unhappy and less like the people of God. This is a trick of the evil one.
Comparison can steal your joy. Don’t let it happen, especially when it comes to Church worship.