Be Brave

Be Brave
Attribution: Maggie Smith/

May 14, 2013

Got Any Loners?

    Of course you do; every congregation has them. Especially those who are without friends. Those people in your church who seem to blend into the wall paper, or into the crowd. There are those who hide in a large church for many reasons. Often they hide from rejection. They've been hurt enough times that they just won't risk the pain, but they see their need for God, and so they come to church, and hide.
Well, you say, maybe if they would make friends they wouldn't be loners. Sure, easy for you to say, you're confident in your ability to make friends. Maybe you've never been hurt, maybe you never put people on pedestals and expect them to treat you like they value you. Actually, we all do that. Expect people to treat us with respect, to like us, and keep from talking about us to others.
    Crush the cliques. Take the people who are so complacent in their cliques (their safe little groups) and use them to reach out to others. Maybe we can begin a group where the members are ready at a moment's notice to befriend the ones who are afraid and have no friends. Sure, the ones who we reach out to could be really clingy, and that's normal. They are clingy because they can't believe that someone would really befriend them. At the same time, they might be really suspicious. That's normal too.
    The people you want for this group should be outgoing, brave, confident, and of course, friendly. Teach them to interact with those who are afraid, so that you can turn them into confident, brave lovers of others, with skills and experiences to help as well. Those are the ones you want! They are gold! They are people who become so grateful for the friendship and help, for the training and confidence that comes with it, that they are fiercely loyal and loving, and believe in what they are doing. That's who you need, committed ministers of Christ.
    So many people have been hurt by the very people whom they trusted to be their brothers and sisters in Christ. Idle talk, gossip, jealousy, fear, bigotry, are all found in the Church. Make yours a better place by committing to loving others. Soften people who call themselves christian and have no intention of ministering to others. Pray for the ones who just want to go to church and be themselves and think they are rich and need of nothing; because we're called to be like Jesus.
Remember: be brave, love more.