Ours To Fix, Not Ours To Curse

“… Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy … to present her to himself as a radiant church, without strain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
You probably read that a US army officer was convicted recently of abuses in the notorious torture scandals on Iraq. I’m sorry it happened, and I am sure what took place brought a black eye on the reputation of this country. Having said that, I notice that this trial makes one more trial for official abuse than Saddam Hussein’s forces were ever asked to undergo in the bad old days!
Even with her flaws, America is better. We hold our police, politicians, soldiers, and officials responsible for their actions. As Colin Powell once said: “Never lose faith in America. Its faults are ours to fix, not ours to curse.”
The church is like that. She is not perfect. Jesus, her head, is perfect, and the Bible, her constitution is perfect, but she is not. Why is she not perfect? The reason is simple. You. And me. We’re human, flawed, and we sin (Romans 3:23).
It saddens me when brethren point fingers and (apparently) delight in showing up the church’s flaws. The church isn’t interviewing for the “Church critic” position. That position has already been filled! It does need servants, teachers, leaders, and encouragers. We’re not better because we’re perfect; we’re better because we work on ourselves. We see a ministry need, and we volunteer to fill it; we see a discouraged sister, and we encourage her; we see something others have missed, and we don’t cry indignantly, “Why don’t they do something about it?” We do it ourselves! The church’s faults are ours to fix!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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