It’s a sad day when you’re more excited to see the team you hate lose rather than the team you love win.
I’ve experienced this recently. I used to simply cheer for the Clemson Tigers and against the USC Gamecocks. But I recently crossed the line and became more interested in seeing SC lose than Clemson win. Partly because Clemson had a bad season this year, but also because I’ve just grown to hate SC so much that I’d rather see them fail than see my own team succeed.
Often, many churches and individuals fall in to this same mindset. They almost rejoice more when they see bad things happen to ministries they disagree with rather than for the good things God is doing in their own church.
For a sports fan, it’s sad. For the Church, it’s tragic. Anytime we get to the point where we’re rejoicing over the failures of other churches, we should weep. And then repent.
I wonder if the problem is that it’s hard for us to accept the fact that Jesus Christ loved and died for the church down the street just as much as He did our own. The church across the nation, too.
That includes the church that fell apart because their pastor had an affair.
The church whose music you abhor that’s failing.
The church that went bankrupt.
The church that tries too hard to be relevant or the church that you think caters to a traditional crowd. And neither is growing.
You may not agree with other churches, their methodology, or even some of their theology. But we’re all Christ’s bride. And before He died for all of us, He prayed that all of us would be one. Not that we’d rejoice when one of us fails. Do what you will, but I’d rather not be opposed to the prayers of Jesus. He had a rather effective and powerful prayer life. I’m not going to waste any breath or energy trying to subvert it.
We have to get to the place where we see the success of the church down the street as our success. And their failure as our failure. We should pray for one to happen everywhere. And the other to happen nowhere.
When you see other churches fail, even if it’s because of their own sin or stupidity, don’t praise God for their failure. Pray to Him for their restoration and redemption.
But first, how about praising God for your own successes? Praise God for His faithfulness in your church. In your life. That’s where your most intense worship should be anyway.