Here are some things I am thinking about today as I was told I am not a Christian and I am a liar because I chose to believe in our staff and our store policy.
Sometimes love say no.
Sometimes love has discipline.
Sometimes love has boundaries.
Sometimes love doesn’t allow the trampling of a soul.
Sometimes love points out wrongs.
People have this misconception about church that we are supposed to do everything anyone asks because we’re supposed to love. So we get these crazy asks sometimes. Take for example our thrift store. The conversation goes something like this:
“I’m sorry we won’t be able to take your couch, it has to be usable and without the cushions it isn’t usable.”
“Well, don’t you people help poor people? Beggars can’t be choosy. My dogs tore up the cushions but it’s still good for the homeless.”
Alright so at this point in the conversation I’m not thinking nice things, in fact my thoughts are quite sarcastic and this I realize is why I will never hold political office. My thoughts are going in the direction of why would we donate a couch to a homeless person? Sleeping bags, clothes, food, blankets, tents, yes but a couch? Not so much buddy. Not even on my radar. I know, I can’t say these things and maintain customer service as much as I would like to. These are thoughts though and I gather myself together and get back on track.
“Yes we do help people in need but this couch doesn’t help them. They can’t sit on it like this.”
“Well what I am supposed to do with it?”
“Well you can take it to the local dump.”
“WHAT? DO YOU KNOW THAT COSTS MONEY? I THOUGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THE CHURCH?” Huff, puff, slam and yell, “SO YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT? YOU GUYS DON’T HELP PEOPLE.”
“I understand the dump is expensive. It would cost us $20 to take the couch to the dump. We don’t get a Christian break or anything and we run on a very tight margin here. If you’d like us to take it to the dump for you, we can but you’ll have to pay the $20.”
He elects not to do that.
Whenever I hear the phrase, “I thought you were supposed to be the church.” or “I thought you were Christians.”, what I hear is, “You’re not doing what I want.”
I know your next question. What are some things we’ve been asked to do because we are the church? Mostly things that are wrong or unwise to us.
Cashing checks for people we’ve never seen before.
Making exceptions to policy when it will ultimately hurt us.
Writing letters of reference for people we don’t know.
Loaning our vehicles to people without a license.
Doing things that compromise our moral belief.
Where do we get this idea that Christians are weenies who should do everything that is asked even when it’s contrary to their belief system thus saying no means they are hateful or not Christian? Jesus didn’t do everything asked of him and he asked people to make some very tough choices for the betterment of their life. Yet he was Christ. Not everything goes our way nor should it.
Oh and by the way, the guy came by and dumped the couch on our property after hours. Guess he showed us! So pray for me as I work through the nonsense of a thought process that I don’t understand and learn to let it go and move on.