At first, I thought that my dedication to attending church would convince a couple of my non-practicing, but still Mormon-believing, family members of the truth in Scripture. I chose church obligations over family gatherings.
Sometimes, I wondered if the family gatherings were deliberately done on a Sunday morning in order to prove a point to me?
I was missing a vital piece to my early evangelism efforts, like the fact that choosing church over family reminded those two family members of their reason for leaving the Mormon church in the first place. Their distrust of church (Mormon) were somehow missed in the many conversations I and S.M had with them. The devil is in the details, they say, and it’s quite literally in this case.
That’s what hit me today as I sat here doing morning devotions. All of my efforts to be, “a good Christian,” failed. I attended church when last minute family parties were happening as a way to show that I keep my obligations and those obligations were important. I had to keep my promises, but I focused only on inviting them to church and what I and S.M. did at church.
I failed to focus on Christ. I failed to focus on the Salvation message, of resting in His love, and instead, I didn’t appear any different than the Mormons. I was just as busy volunteering, attending Sunday morning church, and focusing on the building of church, not the biblical, worldwide church made up of people-believers.
To them, it was works, not faith.
In real life (even now), S.M. and I put church as last, with God first over our marriage, and our marriage second. Family came second to last behind God and our marriage, but before church. That thought never got conveyed to those two family members. From their point of view, I was very religious, church-going, and maybe even a bit hypocritical.
I do things differently now, but those two live too far away these days for it to make any difference. They aren’t even on Facebook or social media. Like today…
I skipped church.
S.M. wanted to hang Christmas lights on the house. I wanted to get away from people and have a solitude day to read my devotions, pray, and untangle my chaotic mind. Adrianna, the Sunday School secretary, will probably call me later to say we were missed. Someone on my Facebook will most likely make a comment, like, “worshiping together as husband and wife are important.”
My ex-Mormon friend, if you are attending a Christian church and you get this attitude, please take it with a grain of salt. Worship is done everyday, not just in church. It is important to go to church, for the teaching and the fellowship, but skipping a Sunday for whatever reason will not mean you are less of a Christian.
Sometimes, your walk with the Lord takes you down different paths on Sunday. In my case, I am sitting in a blanket on my couch, reading the Bible, and having a cup of tea while I watch through the window as my husband reluctantly begins the annual process of putting lights on the house (he didn’t want to do it this year!). So stop stressing. You’re still spending time with the Lord.