Even though I’m pretty well settled with my decision to leave Big church behind, some of my friends are still working through everything, and the dust hasn’t settled in their lives yet.
I’m thinking back to how badly I was hurting when everything went down with Big church, and I completely empathize with the hurts my friends are working through.
But there’s a mentality I’m hearing circulate, and I don’t like the way it places blame.
The mentality goes something like this: our group is falling apart because of Big Church… individual friendships are being lost, everything is going to hell and a handbasket… all because of Big Church.
But the truth is that a church dissolving doesn’t destroy relationships… it reveals the deficiencies and strengths that were already there.
I know it’s a tough truth to take, but maybe our friendships were actually based on convenience rather than love. And maybe we never valued each other as much as we thought we did.
Since leaving Big Church behind, my true friendships have deepened. I’m willing to admit that I invested more in some relationships than in others… and that the ones I didn’t invest in will be the first to go. I’m not going to blame it on the church.
Or better yet, I’ll blame it on the church, but be honest about something else…
I am the church.
And I am more to blame for friendships dissolving than some abstract organization that I belonged to.
The trouble is that no one wants to accept that blame because it feels like a failure.
Losing some relationships and gaining others isn’t a failure, though.
It’s part of life.
It’s part of our finite existence as vapors.