Did he really say that to me?
Years ago I started going to a new church. The people seemed happy there and I liked the friendly atmosphere. The first time I stepped into the lobby a greeter, I’ll call Bob, shook my hand and seemed truly interested in this new visitor. For the next several weeks Bob made a point to have a short chat with me.
One Sunday not long after I started attending, the pastor mentioned a program they had at the church that sounded interesting and I wanted to learn more. So on the way out of church I saw Bob in the lobby and decided to ask him some questions about the program.
Bob’s response to my inquiry? “You need to find your own friends.”
What? I thought he was a friend. Not a close friend, of course, but at least an acquaintance. I had considered Bob as someone I knew at church. I was taken aback by his response and somewhat hurt.
I came to the conclusion that Bob had no intention of being my friend. As greeter he was just doing his “Christian duty” as in having a job.
I saw this demonstrated again a few years ago while visiting my uncle who was a retired Baptist minister. Every Sunday a couple of ladies at the retirement community where they lived would go to church with my aunt and uncle. My aunt commented to me that they had been taking these ladies to church forever and complained that the two women also insisted on sitting with them in church. She sounded bothered by it all.
My heart sank because I’m sure those ladies thought they were going with my aunt and uncle and not just being taken by them. Which was probably why the ladies sat with them. They thought they were with friends. But it seemed my aunt just had her “pastor’s wife hat” on doing her “Christian duty”. Obviously, she had no intention of actually being their friends. At least my aunt was nice enough not to tell them to their face they needed to find their own friends.
So what is the point or moral of this story? Well, I’m not sure exactly, except maybe if we’re going to serve the Lord we should do it with a sincere heart and not just go through the motions.