We strain the eyes to behold the things we cherish.
This is why eye contact with a loved one is important. When I participate in wedding ceremonies my favorite thing to do while the bride is walking in is to get a good look and the groom… that man’s eyes are always fixed on his bride while she’s entering and walking toward him.
Who do Christians behold? Who does your church behold? I’m in the seventh week of a bible study with several folks in my church called “Behold Your God”. My take-away from last night’s discussion and last week’s bible study has me considering what this church beholds; what would others think we consider the most cherished person we behold?
Think about it with me…
Christians and churches know that we would answer the question of who we behold to be God Himself. (Yes, the “Sunday School” answer is correct.) But is this who we really behold?
If only we would do an honest evaluation of ourselves, this would reveal who/what we really behold. The way we talk about what we really behold reveals that we may likely be cherishing anyone but God.
We may be showing other people that we don’t cherish God at all. We may only be using a form of religion to promote what we really cherish.
- Behold our theme: Think about how we love our themes; as good as it is to have a theme for the year, a theme for a conference, a theme for Vacation Bible School, a theme for today, etc, notice what happens to us once we commit to a theme, we become promoters of our theme.
- Behold our creativity: Go to a conference on church growth some time. Listen on purpose. Do be wooed by the creative presenter who talks about creativity and how many people his creative ways and thinking attract so many people. That idol of creativity offers no spiritually dead soul any real hope.
- Behold our method/program: Methods come and go. A survey will be conducted soon. Thousands of dollars will be spent by churches to hire consultants to come in and show them how most everything they are doing is unattractive to the unconverted. The program 20 years ago that gathered new families then will be outdated and replaced with a new one that will offer temporary promises if you employ the strategy rightly you will get the calculated results that the marketing research shows.
- Behold our ministry: This gets messy here, because now we’re talking about things we really love. Christians love to talk about our “ministries”. This is close to home for me as I consider how we talk about New Horizon Home. But listen, our love for our “ministries” divide churches and Christians more than the color of carpet ever will. Christians will overcome the matter of carpet color far more than the opinion of what ministry is more or most important.
- Behold our morality: This gets even more messy. Morality is close to holiness (but not necessarily the same thing). When we are more known for our morality than our God, we may be cherishing an idol that again has the appearance of Christianity, but more represents an idol that only enslaves the covert to legalism.
What if our churches cherished God?
What if the community knew nothing more about us than the fact that we cherish God? May we be such a church.