Have you ever heard someone say, "I really like Jesus. It's His bride I can't stand?"
Yeah, I used to laugh at that. Because it's ironic, right? Loving Jesus, yet disliking the people He has called us to love, which, by the way, includes you.
Then someone asked me to consider saying that to any other man on the planet. Go ahead. Walk up to any guy, tell him how much you like him, then tell him you can't stand his bride. Better yet, try doing this on someone's wedding day.
I can't imagine it goes over well. I also can't imagine any scenario where Jesus simply shrugs off the comment and laughs.
So when I saw the title of this book by Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin, I was hooked fast. The subtitle helped; What To Do When God's People Hurt God's People.
Like anyone else who has been a part of a church for longer than 18 verses of I Surrender All, I have seen God's people hurt God's people. Ted and Ronnie have been a part of the church for a long time and write about their experiences and what they have learned.
But if you come looking for a juicy tell-all, just keep looking. They share from their own personal stories, but this is not National Enquirer. They leave the sordid details out and paint with a broad stroke.
Why? Because hearing more bad examples of church people isn't helping anyone. You can confirm that in the comments section of almost any page on the internet. What Ted and Ronnie offer is a series of reminders that will help us as we attempt to remain focused on what brought us all together in the first place.
Here is one of my favorite reminders;
Church is messy.
I wish I didn't have to say it that way, but since most of us default into believing church shouldn't be messy and then are shocked when it is, I feel the most appropriate thing to do is call it what it is and discuss how God desires us to live out our call in it.
I'd recommend this book for anyone needing such a reminder.