PASTOR'S PEN: Excuses excuses

“Excuses, excuses; you’ll hear them every day. And the Devil, he’ll supply them, if from church you stay away.”

When I was a teenager, we used to have a man come do a little gospel concert. Those two sentences ring in my mind all the time, especially when I want to stay home from church or Bible study. It’s easy to come up with reasons to avoid church:

“Well, the church benches are too hard. And, that choir sings way too loud. Boy, you know how nervous you get when you're sitting in a great big crowd. The doctor told you, ‘Now, you better watch them crowds. They'll set you back.’"

But, you go to that ole’ ball game because you say it helps you to relax.

“Well, a headache Sunday morning and a backache Sunday night. But by worktime Monday morning, you're feeling quite alright. One of the children has a cold, ‘Pneumonia, do you suppose?’ Why the whole family had to stay home, just to blow that poor kid's nose.”

There are many, many reasons that we come up with to avoid time with God’s people. I wonder, perhaps, if one of the biggest reasons isn’t any of those in the song, but that we “don’t want other people in our business.” That’s the phrase we like to use. It’s not that we don’t want people around at all. I like it when people approve of me or are proud of me, but just don’t tell me what I’m doing wrong or how I’m moving ever so slightly away from God. I think that’s really what we don’t want. We hurry to service when we come and quickly leave. Our closest friends aren’t Christians. In fact, we try to avoid fellow believers during the week.

Some will say that Christians are too judgmental or nosy, and some are; but not all and I would dare say, not most, especially those who love the Lord. They love you and care for you and any correction is out of a desire for you to follow Christ. In fact, they are probably more critical of their own actions than they are of your actions. Mostly, they want to love you, encourage you, help you, pray with you and be there for you. If you desire that, you’ll need to spend some time with them. So, this week, go to church. Get to know some fellow Christians and spend time with a few during the week. It’ll change your life. The Devil doesn’t want to see you doing that so it’s probably something you should do.