If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a Christian say how they “put someone in their place”, I’d have a herd of piggy banks, pockets, and a sore back. My ears are just as full and weary from hearing it.The “Holier than thou” attitude is melting, but just when I thought it was going the ways of the dinosaurs, it reared its ugly face again… and this time in my own backyard.
My wife has a friend who is a single mom and has had her fair share of struggles. She was surprised when she found out what church we went to, didn’t seem to square with what she knew about my wife and what she had experienced at the church we attend.
When people are hurting they go to different places to find help and answers. My wife’s friend is no different. Instead of searching the honky tonks and bars she decided she’d seek answers and solace at the house of God.
Her son was a little guy at the time so she loaded him up and off to church they went. I don’t know if my wife’s friend even remembers what she heard in the sermon that day. What she does remember is a conversation she had with a stranger, a church member.
The man didn’t introduce himself. He didn’t greet her or her little boy with a “Hi, how are you today?” Nor did he tell her that he was glad she decided to join them. The man told her that the service was not the place for her little boy to be.
My wife’s friend decided that if that church didn’t want her son to be there, then they didn’t want her either… she never went back.
My wife’s friend’s son is in college now and as far as I know that day in church when he was a tyke was the last time he or his mom attended church.
She went to church seeking the comfort that only comes from knowing our Father. What she discovered was a legalist disguised as a Christian.
I don’t know who the man was, but I know the type. They’re always the ones to share with other legalists how they put a sinner in their place, “And I told her ______”… fill in the blanks, we’ve all heard it.
In all the fullness and blindness in that man, he can’t begin to grasp the words of Christ, words he quotes to put someone in their place.
My wife told her friend that she was sorry anyone would ever treat her like that and assured her that wasn’t the norm. She also told her that she is welcome to come with us anytime. I think she might.
Folks don’t want or need to know about the broken rules… until after they learn of the love and broken heart of Jesus Christ.
Putting someone in their place should be smack dab in the middle of His and His chosen’s grace… not on the spot and out the door. Telling them is God’s job… ours is showing them Him.