If going to church is a struggle for you, remember, you'll feel less lonely when you see all of your fellow strugglers in the same place looking for help.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. —Hebrews 12:11 (nas)
I truly get what David Murrow talks about in his book Why Men Hate Going to Church. I don’t exactly hate church, but it’s more of a discipline than a delight.
For one thing, I am terribly restless. In church, I feel like a racehorse confined to a broom closet. I need to move! Sitting on a hard chair for an hour of Sunday school and an hour of worship stretches me to the edge of sanity. And when I am forced to be very quiet, I become overly aware of my minor maladies. My acid reflux begins to burn like a blowtorch. The floaters in my eyes turn into thunderclouds. The allergy tickle in my throat becomes a raging itch, and I cough uncontrollably until my wife pokes me. “Sh, people are staring at us.”
Last, I am an introvert. Crowds of people make me as nervous as a duck in a gun shop, and I get claustrophobic with people sitting on all sides of me. I’ve never found a way to make church easier. It’s a discipline, like going to the doctor.
What brings me back each Sunday is the payoff. I feel less lonely for having seen all my fellow strugglers in the same place, looking for help. I make better decisions at work because my conscience has been sharpened by good preaching. And when I walk out the front door of the church, I feel fifty pounds lighter because I have left my sins in the hands of a merciful God.
It’s worth the discomfort, I think.
Lord, You are the Great Physician. I don’t like going to doctors and I chafe at going to church, but I thank You for the healing I experience every Sunday.
Written by Daniel Schantz
Digging Deeper: Mt 9:9–13