Growing up, I and my siblings were very “churched” kids. There was a church building directly opposite our house, so there was no way we could escape. Our uncle who stayed with us at that time ensured we attended every single church activity. Since he was very “kind”, we didn’t have the liver to try to reason with him to give us a church break.
At church, our heads were filled to the overflow with heaps of religious traditions and demands. We were indirectly made to believe that God was looking down on us from heaven with a high-electron microscope in one hand and a huge hammer in the other. I was certain he was ready to apportion divine hammering on my sinful soul whenever I fall (God was definitely not watching me from a distance).
I absorbed everything that was thought and I developed the wrong belief that I had to get myself all cleaned up before God could so much as glance in my direction. But sadly, even after being severely churched, I was still who I was. I was a child who had knowledge of a short-tempered god and I wasn’t scared enough to change. In fact, as I grew into my teens I began to really hate church. I felt it was a place where hypocrites gathered and I found it hard to believe that anyone could be perfect enough for God to accept. It even got to the point where I’d rather not go to church and even if I did go, I’d stay outside or go so late. I believed there was no point going through the motions when I knew in my heart that I and God had no real connection. I had no plan of changing but God had a different plan for me.
When I decided to accept Jesus, I was not at church, on the contrary I was home alone that day. God looked for me in my corner. There was no tearful prayer, no rolling on the floor and begging God to save me from the fires of hell; I guess the Holy Spirit simply convinced me. Since that day till this moment, I keep realising that my heavenly Father is nothing like what religious individuals think he is. Our God is not an angry Father who relishes “blessing” his children with afflictions in order to correct them. He does not give us burdens; he does the exact opposite. He does not want us to clean ourselves up before coming to him; it’s his job to do the cleaning.
Don’t be churched, it’s a frustrating road to walk. Being real with God is way wiser and better than wearing a mask or feigning indifference. God’s yoke is easy and his burden is light. Let’s be the church we want to see by throwing out the traditions of men. Oh, before I forget; yesterday was my second birthday. Happy second birthday to me….in arrears. ☺
P.S. The word “Churched” is a term I coined, it refers to a religious mindset.