It would be wonderful to say that all relationships end as well as they got started. Those of us who have been married for long periods of time understand that there were periods in our relationship that required a little extra work to get where we are now. What was crucial to the success of that extra work was recognizing what we needed to work on. Such recognition required a correct diagnosis of relational symptoms that were manifesting themselves. Some relationships fail because they don’t recognize the symptoms, do not realize they need extra work, or refuse to put in the extra work.
As a body of believers, we are involved in a relationship not only with our creator and Savior but with each other. To a degree, we are also in a relationship with our community. The probability of a long term successful relationship requires that we recognize symptoms we see, be honest in our diagnosis, define what extra work is needed, and then roll up our sleeves and get to it. No finger pointing, blame shifting, or making excuses; simply rolling up our sleeves and putting in that extra work.
When we look at our history as a church, we cannot deny we have had better days. We can either point fingers, seek someone to blame, make excuses, or roll up our sleeves. An essential ingredient of successful marriages that have gone through thick and thin is remembering why they got married in the first place. The extra work many times is designed to get back to that place.
For us as a body of believers committed to each other, we need to follow the example of those successful marriages and remember why we are a body of believers in the first place. We are a body of believers brought together to praise the creator and sustainer of the universe who loved us enough to die in our place. We came together to proclaim His majesty and His Excellencies to a world that, without Him, is lost. We are a body of believers that have come together to pray for one another, help carry each other’s burdens, encourage one another, and serve one another. Let us never lose sight of that.