My friend bought pizza for supper. Arriving home, she put the pizza on the kitchen table. Her husband wasn’t home from work yet so she left the pie unopened. When she came back into the kitchen she noticed her husband still wasn’t home and decided she’d best eat while the pizza was still hot.
Opening the box, she found a large slice missing. She was FURIOUS! Obviously, a pizza store clerk had taken a piece of her pizza before it even left the store! She called the pizza store and told them what had happened. They denied it and politely said that was impossible. No employee would EVER remove a piece of pizza from a customer’s order!
Furious, she informed them that she had picked up the pizza, come straight home, alone, nobody was in the house but her and she was absolutely positive nobody had opened the box before she did. The ONLY explanation was that a hungry employee had taken the slice. The store manager continued to say that was impossible—but—since they believed in customer service, bring the pie back and they’d replace it, which they did.
Arriving back at the house with a new pizza, she went into the house and once more put the unopened box on the kitchen table. Her husband pulled into the driveway and walked in the house right behind her. Going straight to the table, he lifted the lid of the pizza box and in puzzled astonishment said, “Praise GOD, the pizza healed itself!”
He had come home earlier and realized as he walked in the house that he’d forgotten something at the office. Noticing the pizza box on the table, he grabbed a slice, closed the lid and left. She’d never known he was in the house. Needless to say, my friend returned to the pizza store, explained, apologized and paid for the “new” pizza.
So often, as Christians, we blame “somebody” for a misdeed, a hurt feeling or a perceived wrong. Sometimes, we stop going to a class, cease to serve in a ministry, leave a church, or even stop going to church all together. We are hurt, angry, frustrated, disappointed and fed up. These hurts and disappointments are real, not imagined.
The truth is, we attack the wrong enemy. Ephesians 6:12 says that we don’t fight against flesh and blood. One of satan’s goals is to ruin our relationship with other Christians, removing us from the support of the body of Christ. In time, our inner pain becomes a form of idolatry and we feel we are justified in our separation from God’s people. We worship our disappointment, anger and emotional pain instead of God.
Without the encouragement of fellowship with the body of Christ, we eventually lose our intimacy with Christ himself. Don’t be fooled; your pain does not come from people, or church or God. It comes from satan himself. Don’t let satan rob you of the very thing Christ died on the cross to give you; relationship with God and with each other.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to see past the moment and understand that satan wants to rob me of the strength of fellowship that can be found in church. Remind me that your blood shed on Calvary set me free from the bondage of broken relationships and hurt feelings. In Jesus name, amen.