DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I quit going to my church because I got tired of watching the members bicker and fight over everything. I thought Christians were supposed to be kind and loving to each other, but it isn't true, in my experience. —W.S.
Dear W.S.: I'm sorry this church didn't live up to your standards — and from what you say, it's apparently not living up to God's standards, either. The Bible is clear: The primary characteristic of Christians should be love for others. Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).
But not all churches are like the one you were attending; I've been in countless churches over the years where Christ was honored and people were welcomed in His name. What was their secret? It wasn't any secret, actually; they were this way because they were committed to Christ and wanted above everything else to do His will. No church is perfect, of course — but a church that's centered in Christ will always be a place of joy and peace.
Don't be discouraged, and don't conclude that every church is going to be like the one you just left. Instead, begin by focusing on Jesus Christ, not on those who might fail to live up to His will for them. God made you, and He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you.
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The Bible says, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10). Have you responded to His love by giving your life to Christ? If not, do so today — and then ask God to guide you to a church with Christ at its center.