When I graduated college, the edges of my life were sharp and could hurt you. I had firm opinions that could not be swayed. I had unmovable ideas about how the world worked on topics such as marriage, parenting, faith, Church, and politics. And unfortunately, I went into the ministry with these rough edges, and I continually left hurt and heartache behind me.
Looking back, I see the wisdom of God in putting us together with other believers in this thing called a Church. While my life crashed hard into some people, others crashed harder into me. Slowly those rough edges began wearing smooth.
Now I could understand the pain and struggle some people experienced in their marriage; sometimes, there were no clear answers. I saw good parents fail and watched my kids have their own issues. People who didn’t share the same views as me on everything were walking with Jesus in a vibrant relationship that I did not possess. And politics brought only division to those who swore by its power.
Little by little, over a lifetime with the other followers of Jesus, I became less rough and more friendly to the people I met. I am still not where God wants me, but with every passing season, I feel another chunk of me fall away as I am molded to look like Christ.
When people ask about the Church, I have my Biblical answers and simple explanations. But I want to tell them that it is the most incredible group of people you will ever hate until God helps you to love them. Then and only then will you understand what I am writing.