Reprimand to Self
May 24, 2019 | by: Serrene Turpin | 1 Comments
Posted in: Follow Up From Sermons
the below was taken from Serrene's blog at Immovablerock.org
This blog post is not meant to condemn, or frown upon anyone who misses church sponsored events. This blog post is a confession of my sin to the church.
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked. “Yes,” Jesus answered, “have you never read: ‘From the mouths of children and infants You have ordained praise’?”
On Saturday, my son Aidan was playing brick recreational soccer. His game started at 10:30 AM. The day before the game, Aidan was complaining that his leg was hurting. I wasn’t sure if he should play on Saturday, but on the day of the game he said he wanted to play, so my wife and I allowed him to play. During the game, I noticed that he was limping and couldn’t keep up with the rest of the team. I also noticed that he was distracted. At times his eyes where looking in another direction while the soccer ball was in play. There were also moments when Aidan had his back to the soccer game, while his teammates were moving the soccer ball up the field, or playing defense against Kayla Francis #one-girl-army, and #little-miss-relentless.
My first response to my wife was, “get him out of there. He’s not paying attention to the game.” I tried to encourage Aidan from the sidelines but he was still distracted, and limping. Finally I walked over to the coach, and asked that Aidan be removed from the game because he was injured.
When I explained to my son Aidan why he was taken out of the game, his faced saddened. For a few minutes Aidan alternated his time between moping around and sitting on the ground while plucking out blades of grass.
Then suddenly, Aidan got up and walked away from the rest of his teammates who was waiting patiently on the sideline to get back into the game. Aidan was heading in the direction of the playground. He didn’t want to cheer for the team; if he couldn’t play he was going to do something else to occupy his time. My wife and I called Aidan back and explained to him how important it is to be a team player.
On Sunday Pastor Chris Francis, reconvened his “Church Gone Wild,” series. During the openingannouncements, Tom Sargent came to the stage and spoke about the men’s breakfast. He asked all the guys who attended the May 18th Men’s Breakfast to stand up. I did not stand up because I didn’t attend the breakfast. My first thought was okay, buddy you’re busted. I felt a little awkward, a little put on the spot, but there was no brokenness, or no conviction about me not attending. When I glanced around the room, I didn’t see a ton of men standing, at least not enough to make me feel ashamed for not being there. Nevertheless, God knows the heart, and he wasn’t going to let me sit comfortably in my chair without addressing my neglect, or lack of love for my brothers in Christ.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Pastor Chris showed this excellent video about how the Apostle Paul addressed divisions in the Corinthian Church. He then preached an excellent message about church unity, playing an active role in the body of Christ, and encouraging one another.
As the video was playing and our Pastor was preaching, I felt God’s word strumming on the strings of my heart. I should have gone to the men’s breakfast. There were no prior engagements that I committed to. There were no last minute emergencies that hindered me from attending. While some of the men of True Life were worshipping God with their time, I was playing Racquetball. While some of the men of True Life were encouraging one another to be strong in the Lord, I was watching my sons play soccer.
Here I am adamant that my son Aidan be taken off the soccer field for not paying attention to the game, and playing hurt. Here I am indignant, because my son walked away from the soccer field to pursue other interest. Here I am reprimanding my son for not wanting to be present and cheer for his team, when God showed me through my son’s actions and the pastor's message, that I was acting just like my son Aidan.
I profess to play for team Jesus, yet I wasn’t at the game supporting the team that God brought together for His glory. In Acts 28:15 it says that the Apostle Paul was encouraged when he saw that the believers had come to see him–which means there is a comfort and encouragement in the life of other believers when Disciples of Christ decide to show up and be present, and be seen. I should have been at the men’s breakfast to encourage the brothers, but I decided not to go because I wasn’t involved in the actual event. Like my son Aidan, in my hubris I decided to be selfish. I didn’t want to just cheer for the team from the sidelines. Since I wasn’t preaching I decided to go and pursue other interest. I said to myself, I’ll catch the next event, but in actuality I missed a couple of Church events already.
Like my son Aidan, I also have a limp that prevents me from keeping up with the members of team Jesus at True Life. There are brothers and sisters at True Life, who have been committed to implementing the vision for the church for years. I haven’t been plugged in long enough to get a really good reading of the pulse of the church, and all its needs. I haven’t served in a capacity that demonstrated my heart for Jesus, yet I expect to be considered to play a role I haven’t earned, or no one knew I had interest in. Thank God that His word is my medicine. I have to read it daily because it tempers my insanity.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
You don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve been praying to God for some very specific things. My breakthrough could have been packaged in the message at the men’s breakfast, and all I had to do was be a faithful servant in a few things, and show up to unlock what God has planned for me.
Sin is like a Pandora’s Box, when you think you’re just compromising in that little area of your life, you’re actually creating a portal for all types of other sin to enter through. It’s never the big jumps or a leap that takes a person away from God. It’s always the small choices; it’s the little steps, pivots, and glances we take in the opposite direction of God’s will that become habit forming(James 1:13-15).
If God can use little children to ordain praise, He can also use little children to expose the improper and ungodly thoughts and attitudes of the heart, and God exposed my heart.
In Romans 2:21, the scripture says “you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?”
I created a website called immovablerock.org, because I wanted to connect people to Jesus. I write blogs to share what God has put on my heart to share. I tell people the bible is my standard. How can I expect people to adhere to a standard that I don’t hold myself accountable too?