All of us have things in our past that we regret, or wish we had never done. Some of those memories have no power over us at all. They are simply that, memories. And yet for some people they are something that consistently holds us back from the potential we all have. Our past keeps us from launching out into the unknown depths of our potential because of past failures, or other bad experiences. Our past keeps us from meeting people, or from anything other than simple surface relationships often stemming from past hurts. We have been betrayed before and as a result we refuse to trust again.
Most of my life was spent in church. I grew up in church, and as my church ran a school I grew up in church school. I have been around “Christians” most of my life. In fact, if it hadn’t been that I had enough of religion and got very angry with church and Christianity and God, I probably would have spent my whole life in church. And one of the things that caused my disillusionment with religion was the amount of judgment going on between fellow Christians, and more often between Christians and those outside the church. People were held to such high standards, that if the truth were known no one lived up to, that life was exceptionally difficult. There was a rule for just about everything. Some went so far to say if you were a boy that had hair touching the tops of your ears you were in sin. Nothing but good crew cut for you young man.
This past weekend hundreds of people around the world did their religious duty and went to church. Others, who have become disillusioned with Christianity, spent their time in other pursuits, the last thing one their minds being “religion”. In fact many people have been so put off by organized religion that they refuse to take part in anything remotely resembling it. And with good reason. Those of us who call themselves by the name of Christ have done Him a great disservice. We have not been the “image of Christ” to the world. Which is what we are supposed to be.