Over a year and a half ago my wife and I left the church that I grew up at to find a deeper relationship with Christ and His body outside the four walls of the institutionalized church. Since then, to my surprise, we have had very few encounters and conversations to where friends, family and other believers tried to get us to go back or find another church that better suits our needs. At the same time there have been some. I’m thankful however that most of these conversations have been out of love rather than offense and were very respectful.
I have recently noticed that my feelings toward the Church (Christ’s body, not a building) have grown over the last year and a half. I’m far from perfect and apart from Christ I am unable to love or understand love but I’ve noticed Christ’s love in me. Since starting this journey I have noticed that I’m often less judgemental of other believers. It’s much easier for me to have a truly Christ-exalting conversation with another believer regardless of what their “church life” looks like.
When we get together with other believers our discussion is more centered around Christ Himself. Rather than talking about a service we recently attended or what’s going on with the worship band we’re in we talk about truth that reveals Christ to one another in a deeper way. I am able to see Christ in my brothers and sisters in a way that I never saw before. I’m also able to see the junk in their lives that I never saw as well…and it’s beautiful. I’m able to hear from Christ through believers’ voices in a greater way.
I’m simply thankful for the many brothers and sisters that God has surrounded my wife and I with. Without them I wouldn’t know Christ the way I do. The Christian life is a corporate life, not an individual life. I’m simply thankful.