When Your Friends Leave You......Standing

It took me a while to write this post because first, I had to get over the hurt that is involved when a friend leaves you or in my case, the church you are a part of.  I've had several friends over the past few years leave and some were very dear to my (our) heart.  Initially, I tried to reach out to them and 'save' them from the decision that they made of leaving a church that preaches the truth.  However, I was met with all the reasons why my church, or rather it's leaders, were flawed, in error and corrupt.  In reality, they tried to convince me and my husband to leave this "awful" place and show us how we would be treated if and when we ever went into the ministry.  That is when I cut off communication with them because I didn't want to hear their bitter fires and see the destruction that would soon follow.

I've been serving God in this church organization since 1999 when I got saved.  I know there are bad preachers/pastors, just like there are in EVERY church organization or establishment that has ever existed.  Just because there are a few bad apples or those that were 1. never truly saved or 2. chose the world over God - doesn't mean the whole lot is bad.  I saw this growing up as a pastor's kid since birth in a different church than the one I'm in now.  It doesn't matter what church you go to, there will be gossipers, liars, fornicators, adulterers, those that live worldly and on and on.  Not only observation shows us this but the Word of God TOLD us already these things would be as the wheat grows with the tares.

The only reasons I would leave a church organization God called me to be in are these:
  1. Core doctrine change
  2. Bible version change from KJV
  3. Holiness standards lowered or done away with
  4. Corrupt leadership as a whole

I'm not going to leave a church because my toes got stepped on - and believe me, they have more than a time or two.  Most of the time it was truth and needed, other times it was "suffering the wrong."

I'm not going to leave a church because my pastor does some injustice to me, paints me how I'm not or misunderstands me - pastors have in the past and some things may not be worked out until we get to Heaven.  I've learned I can't change other's perceptions of me, God has to be the one to change it.

I'm not going to leave the church because a bunch of gossiping, big-mouthed sisters women want to go around and spread lies about me - they have more than a time or two.  They went around telling others to stay away from me and don't be my friend because "I tell pastor everything" and I don't, but they said this because they "thought" I told Pastor something they did but I DID NOT - evidently GOD did!  Two of those that did such a thing have actually left my church anyway and have showed their TRUE colors, but some of their counterparts still remain.  After 14 years of having the spirit of God living in me, I've gotten better at knowing what a serpent looks like and sounds like.  Those that chose to believe a lie about me and even LISTEN to gossip, probably weren't people I wanted to be friends with anyway!

Why wouldn't I leave a church because of these things that PEOPLE did or do?  Because I'm not serving PEOPLE!!  I'm serving God and He has never done me wrong and He has enabled me to continue on despite the hurt I've felt, the misunderstandings I've experienced and having my reputation trashed wrongfully.  I may never see the day when I'm justified but God knows and that is all that really matters in the end.  Satan will do his job of sowing discord and I will do mine of living a life that proves to others who I am and who I serve; God.  They will be the ones that choose which to believe.  And for those that still spread discord through gossip and lies about me or others.......

Deut. 32:35
To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. 

People or correction/rebuke are not going to run me off from a church that God called me to be a part of.  However, most of my friends that have left, have left over these very things.  Someone did them wrong, a pastor or leader rebuked them or they didn't get enough recognition for the "great" work they were doing for God - they were so focused on pleasing people that they soon found out that you can never please everyone all of the time.  They fail to look at the principles of God's Word, who God is and what we are supposed to be like - God.  God has mercy, forgives, is long-suffering, has compassion and tells us to have love, even for those that are enemies OR that we perceive are our enemies.  Where is the love??

My friends left me but they left me standing for God.  One of them has gone on to another church but most of them have left God altogether and gone back into the world, as Demas who also "loved this present world."  2 Tim. 4:10  So, if it was just about people in the church, then why did they leave God?  Because people were just a good excuse for them to go back into sin and the world and what they truly wanted and lusted for.  They didn't want holiness, they didn't want to live right and they sure didn't want to be corrected by God through preaching - so they left to shut up their ears and conscience to do whatever they pleased.

I'm still standing and as the song goes...