Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words
I’m a red-blooded American. I love my rights, I love my guns, I love my country, I love my freedoms. I am filled with patriotic pride whenever these things come into play and whenever this great country succeeds. I love the United States of America.
It hit me whilst mowing at my parents’ property that I do not usually feel the same sense of “patriotism” when it comes to the church. There is absolutely nothing wrong at all with being patriotic, but most of my fervor, emotional energy, love, and grace is awakened by love for a country that won’t last forever.
We’re all — to some extent — in this boat. We live on this earth, in this time, with these problems. It’s hard to draw focus away from what’s going on here and balance that with undying love for the church.
Our nation has made some big mistakes in the past (and present), but because it is — overall — a great nation, we don’t pack our bags and move to a different country. Yet, many allow hurt feelings, imperfections, miscommunications, differing opinions, and even stuff like dress codes and translation preference dampen their love for the church.
If we show (and we means me, too) the same level of love, concern, and emotion for the body of Christ that we do for our country, there isn’t anything that can slow us down. If we extend the same level of grace for the imperfections of others in the church as we do for the imperfections of our nation, there’s no stopping us. Our allegiance is to our country, but even more to our King. If we can live that out, we will grow the church immeasurably.