Yesterday I posted about my husband working long hours and the fact that I am lonely. However, two comments I received on the blog focused more on a term I used to describe my husband’s co-workers, heathen, then on the overall message of the post. Since then I have replaced the word with “non church-going,” but the comments have me thinking about many things and I figured it would be best to explore them here.
For starters, I apologize to anyone that my term offended. My husband and I often refer to his co-workers in a teasing manner with the word “heathen” – and he has done it to their faces as well. It’s a joke because he is pegged in his office as the “Christian” by the “Heathens.” However, I never meant to offend anyone and because I got two such responses to it – I changed it.
But digging deeper I am also a bit put-off that people may have seen that one word in my whole blog post and missed the entire point of the blog: that I was lonely and how I was coping with it. Obviously – I didn’t do a good job of THAT. Not only that, but one of the commentors mentioned that I must think if you don’t go to church that you aren’t a Christian. That is very far from the truth and something I want to clear up.
First off: It wasn’t so much that John worked SUNDAY – it was that he is OVERWORKED. All his co-workers are right now. And that I am lonely. I work in a small office with two men. There isn’t a lot of conversation during the day. I have next to nothing in common with the oldest man so it can be pretty durn quiet. And then I go home and no one is there either if John works late. So I have no one to talk to all day. Almost total radio silence from 7am to 10pm. The dog isn’t a very good conversationalist. It can be really nerve-racking. I’ve had a lot of people say “Call me!” … to be honest though… I have on occasion. And people are busy. Their husbands didn’t work late and it’s their time to spend with them, their time to spend with their kids, their time to have their alone time… I just need to learn how to be alone. That was my point, but it didn’t come across.
To be honest – I have no idea if John’s co-workers are Christians. I don’t know where they stand with God and so, to be fair, the term was uncalled for. I certainly appreciate that MANY people (including myself when I worked retail) have to work Sundays. Some churches even work around that fact and have services on other days of the week. (Unfortunately, ours does not.) There are shut-ins too that cannot get out for service any day of the week. These folks certainly are not any “less Christian” than those who do make it to church every week. There are also people who go faithfully to church, but still aren’t “Christian.”
It’s not about attendance! It’s not about being “nice.” I know some really awesome, down-right help you whenever you need it, sincere, nice folks… that aren’t Christians.
To be a Christian means you must believe that God is your Lord and Savior. He sent His son to die for our sins. You have to believe that to be Christian. You can go to church every DAY if you want, but if you don’t get THAT fact – you are technically not the defined Christian. And it means all of OUR sins. Not just mine. Not just Mr. Smith down the block. Not just the “Christians” you see going to church every Sunday – EVERYONE.
We don’t HAVE to go to church to be Christian. We go to church because it tells us in the Bible to gather with people of like mind and to pray without ceasing. We go to center ourselves for the week ahead – to prepare ourselves as it also says in the Bible. We are called to put on the armor of God in order to defeat the devil – we do that by studying His word, worshiping in song, having fellowship with other believers, and giving our minds that peace in Him at least once a week. When we miss it – we can stumble. (Heck, I was IN church this week and I stumbled!)
BUT – to not go any further down THAT road (and get more scathing comments) I am going to digress a bit and say this: not only should I have not used the term – I feel bad that I stumbled and that I didn’t get my overall message across. God wants me to show His love everyday to every person and I didn’t do that by using that term.
Here’s another great fact about Christians and my lesson for today: We’re not perfect. We stumble. We falter. We screw up. We are not all we can be for Him. But He loves us anyway. He gave His son for little ol’, totally screwed up, messed up, non-perfect ME. And YOU. I should be showing that message every day. And I didn’t.
Here’s hoping I learned this little lesson, that my readers will learn a little more about me in the process and maybe that I was able to teach something too.