Step 1. To your Faith add Goodness (Part 2)

In my attempt at walking by faith, I'm trying to go more to church despite my health and despite the time, (I usually don't go anywhere after 8 pm unless it's a saturday and the hubs convinces me. If I'm out at night, I usually end up with a bad case of allergies or asthma).
Yesterday, I managed to drag my body to a meeting at church I was called to two hours beforehand. However, I completely failed at adding goodness to my faith.

You see, we miss alot of church meeting because of my health. It is something that burdens me. Honestly, we don't go to church group on Friday not because we don't want to, but because come Friday I'm extremely tired and I just want to go home to lay my head. In that faith walking, we are going to start attending group on Friday.
Last week was our first visit to a group in a long time. It was encouraging to see people happy to see us there, but it was more burdening than anything.
People started asking us if we were going to start going every Friday and if we were not gonna miss anymore group. This got on my nerves.

In all honesty, sometimes we don't go to church not because I'm not feeling fine, but because we just don't want to see the people there just to hear them question why we haven't been to church lately. To me it's like: "Do you care why I haven't come or just that I haven't come?" My husband is a kind, gentle person who will always answer patiently. I wish I were more like him. People come over to ask him why we haven't been to church. He patiently gives them an answer, and they just brush it off as an excuse. My husband won't show you his disapproval of your comments and opinions, but they are getting on his nerves as well.

On last Friday's group, they invited my husband to a men's meeting on Monday. My husband is on his test week at college. As we were entering the meeting yesterday, a guy from the group asked him why he hadn't gone to the meeting on Monday. Again, as per usual, my husband kindly tried to explain that he was up all night studying. The guy immediately dissmissed his explanation and started joking around of his "irresponsibility." Here is where I failed to practice goodness, my friends. I got so angry at his "jokes" and judgments I snapped at him. "He already gave you an answer. If that is not good enough for you, that is your problem not ours," I harshly responded.

Oh great! Now I was there feeling terribly angry at the same welcome of always and terribly ashamed of how I had reacted. The hubs of course called my attention for my response, not that he needed to. I knew I had been wrong. I waited till the end of the meeting to approach this guy and ask for forgiveness.

I was seriously starting to wonder what church is about and why I don't want to go anymore. What is more important: my attendance or my life? Because all I see is that they don't care about our lives; they care if we're faithfully attending or not. Don't they not know me or my husband? Weren't we there every meeting before my health issues?
How come when we tell them we aren't going to church because I'm very sick none of the "questioners" call to ask how I'm doing or visit? None of them ask my husband how he is coping with caring for his wife almost every week. Do they know he feels burdened or frustrated and oftentimes alone, and he doesn't want to spend his weekend locked up in the house? Do they know our financial problems because of our medical bills? Dear reader, I'm crying as I write this down.

I was inmensely touched by the fact that Pastor Gustavo wrote me asking how I was because he was worried he hadn't seen me in a while. "How are you?" instead of the usual "Why haven't you been to church?"
Now that I find myself in these situations I'm truly grateful. In the past, I was a prolific "questioneer." This was my attitude towards "church slackers" as well.

Please don't get me wrong. I don't think my brothers and sisters in Christ are ill-intentioned at all. The guy from last night surely didn't deserve my attitude towards him.
What happens is that it's hard to be truly interested in someone's life and most of the time you don't even realize what your comments and opinions do to someone.
And I fail even more at faith and goodness here. I'm not giving my brothers and sisters a chance, and I'm instead feeling exasperated by them. Im justifying reasons for not going to church that shouldn't be based on what others do but on what I do and I need. Even last night's altercate served me in learning how to add goodness. Actually, the harder the showing goodness becomes the strong the faith is rooted.

To your faith add goodness...

The dictionary defines goodness as:
1. the state or quality of being good.
2.moral excellence; virtue.
3.kindly feeling; kindness; generosity.
4.excellence of quality: goodness of workmanship.
5.the best  part of anything; essence; strength.

As I told you, I failed at adding goodness.
If I'm gonna trust my church is where God has taken me, then I must grow in goodness.
What will this imply?
I won't be offended by others, but return love and forgiveness and non-judgmental thoughts to them.
I will answer kindly and patiently, or simply be quiet and let my husband answer kindly while I learn from him.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 65:4
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

The house of the Lord... Is it Church? Are goodness and mercy shown to you there? More importantly, are you showing it?
The house of the Lord... Communion with God? Surely delicious to my soul and flesh. Are you seeking it always?

Goodness is only found in God. Only He is good.
Such an important realization of our state. None of us are good. Therefore, we may only learn goodness from God and through Him. This also means He teaches goodness from others that pick it up from Him. This is what you must strive to be and strive to be around. Friday group is a good starting place!

Life is not easy. This is the very reason you are learning this steps.
It is not easy to have faith. It is not easy to have goodness.
It is easy to come to the Lord. It is easy to come in prayer.
It is easy to pick up His Word and tie it to our necks.
And thus, it is easy to have faith and easy to imitate His goodness. 

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful.
    My heart hurts for your pain and pray that you will soon find answers. until then, remember Psalm 23: 'Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil...He prepares a table for me in the midst of my enemies...." In this case, I am not referring to human enemies, but rather enemies of discouragement, fear, doubt, anger, anxiety and hurt. God may not remove them, but He will set before you a beautiful banquet table right in the midst of all. Sweet friend, come and sit, come and see, come and taste that the Lord is good, even in the midst of pain and hurt and loneliness.
    Know I am on my knees for you.