Several years ago, I read an article in a business magazine aimed at developing morale in the workplace, from executives in the corner office to hourly workers in the warehouse. For some reason, the article made an impression on me. As I was scanning through documents on my computer this past week, I ran across it again. I refreshed my memory about things we shouldn’t say around co-workers, only to realize that these same things are very relevant for church life. We shouldn’t say these things when we gather together for worship, either. The article originally listed seven taboo phrases—for this purpose, I’ve condensed it to four.
1. “When the Time is Right”
Isn’t that dangerous for Christian living? A life with Christ isn’t a matter of when; it’s a matter of if. Only you can decide if you will live that life, and the more time that passes, the greater chance that life will never begin. The right time is now. We’ve all known people who delayed doing the right thing only to miss their chance. Don’t add to that statistic.
2. “I Wish”
What are you “wishing” for? In Christ, we have everything we need. In fact, when scripture talks about “hope”, it suggests expectation and anticipation. It’s not the rabbit’s foot you clench in your grip. Most of the time, when people say “I wish” at church, they’re talking about their preference for how they want church to be. But, that’s exactly what it is—a preference—not a mandate. Leave the wishing-well at home. Even if you could bring one, it wouldn’t be yours to bring. That right only belongs to God.
3. “I Don’t Have Time”
Are you sure? If you have the time to say you don’t have the time, you probably have the time to do what needs to be done. Most likely, it will require you to sacrifice how you spend your time or why you spend it the way you do, but it’s still possible. God finds time for you. Find time for Him. A 24/7 God isn’t going to be impressed with an 8/5 excuse—take your time on that one.
4. “I’m Not Good Enough”
This statement is partly true. You aren’t “good” enough…on your own. But Christ loves you way too much to leave you that way. He completes your life. He makes you strong. He makes you more than adequate with the power that does more than we can imagine. So, ditch the “I’m not good enough” and “I’m not pretty enough” excuses. No one wants to hear them—especially God. He gave His Son so you would be—and if you’re in Christ, you already are.
In our lightning-paced culture, we only have a few hours a week to edify, encourage, and glorify the Savior together. In that limited time, let’s make sure that we say the right things.
I think you will find worship and fellowship to be even more enjoyable if you do.
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