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I love the church. I really do but, it also has her many flaws! Especially when 'man' comes into it! That is where we get it wrong when we box God to fit into our ideologies and planning; instead of trusting the Holy Spirit for guidance!

Sadly, the problem with the church is that many leaders are not listening to God, they are driven by the people or by money!

We knew a family who was part of a church and extremely wealthy. They wanted to move to our church and their leadership were against it! As leaders, we have to let our best people go so they can bless others if that is where God is sending them! In my opinion, this couple are keeping that particular church afloat with their tithe so it begs the question “What was the real reason for not releasing them?”

Now, I do not say these things to be divisive, on the contrary! I want us all to check our hearts at the motive that drives us forward. Is it God or is it money?

I have noticed a particular couple being mentioned again and again. That is favouritism for sure! Yes, it is wonderful to honour our leaders or church members but not again and again and not above other people! So, I ask myself… “why is this happening, are they just that grateful or are they, excuse me but there is no other way to say this, sucking up?

 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favouritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?”

James 2:1-7

Old and new furniture

Sometimes church leaders become complacent and rely on the same people instead of discipling new people into the fold. They will talk about the nations or releasing their best people but have yet to put it into action. For instance, I have seen the same people in cooking teams for years. Wealthy men with influence get a say when there are poor people, domestic workers who would like to get involved and feel useful and use their gifts of hospitality as well! We encourage people to use their gifts but do not give them a chance to do so!

Do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing

When we give, we do not need to shout it from the mountain tops! God knows the heart of all men. If we are giving or serving just to gain favour with man, that is obviously the wrong reason. I know of a family that has taken in a woman and her son and no one even knows what they do. They already have 4 children of their own. I know of people who have left the corporate world to serve God and His kingdom and no one knows (Matt. 6:3)

God builds His church, not man.

We try to fit God into our neat little boxes. God cannot be contained! If only the church today fully understood how we cannot box each other in our understanding and small-mindedness and we cannot box God to fit into the pretty little picture we want Him to be. He is God. He is sovereign. He WILL reign whether we want Him to or not! He goes before us. He hems us in behind and before. He is omniscient! He is all Powerful! HE IS A WALL OF FIRE (Zech. 2:5)

God prefers big faith over big wallets!

God wants men and women RICH in FAITH. A big wallet doesn't impress God. Big Faith does. If we are impressed by big wallets we have a limited understanding of who God is. "My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and says, "You sit here in a good place," while you say to the poor man, "You stand over there," or, "Sit down at my feet," have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He has promised to those who love Him?” (James 2:1-5 ESV)

In essence, The Westminster shorter Catechism says “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” That means a God-centered life! Not a self-serving one. We can be guilty in the church of serving or preaching for power and our glory forgetting that we are merely reflecting the image of God nothing more!

Written by Bronwyn Marcus, a mother, wife, teacher and freelance writer. If this article has blessed you or you would like to contribute to the discussion, please feel free to share and post your comments below.

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