Church + Maturity in Christ = Hope
by Robyn Afrik
Honestly, when I look at the church today, it's incredibly hard for me to be hopeful about her. Especially when all the noise points to the fighting, the arguments, and ongoing hurts that continuously come out of the church—whether it's regarding same-sex marriages, racial divides, gender roles, politics, saying too much of the right thing at the wrong time or saying nothing at all, especially when lives all around us are being lost.
But to be honest, I don't think we are meant to find hope by looking at the church. I think the better question is whose eyes am I looking through? If I want to view the church the way she was meant to be, I must look through eyes of faith—to see what is there but also what is not yet there.
I can't do this without reconciling my own "self" to the likeness of Christ in all ways. Only by maturing in Christ can I see the hope he sees in me even as I fail him daily. Even as the arguments and the disappointments and the negativity work themselves out. I don't have hope in the church, but I have hope in the process God uses to reconcile us and the church to the likeness of Christ. I've been told by a great mentor that heaven is always attracted to the Jesus in us. If we can't see heaven in the church then we have a lot more maturing to do.
Robyn Afrik (@afrikadvantage) is founder of Afrik Advantage, specializing in helping businesses and institutions become more multicultural. As a Korean adoptee married to a West African and raising three biracial children in Holland, Mich., she works to build a more inclusive community wherever she goes.