One of my favorite places to be is church. One of the reasons is because there is excitement and happiness at church. I look forward to going because of the things I learn, and later implement, that make me a better person. Sometimes the week can be very hard but going to church reminds me of my blessing and priorities and helps me to focus on the work that my creator has called me to do. I always leave church a better person than when I came in.
Another reason I love church is because of the people there. They, nor I, are perfect but we are all on a spiritual journey. I do my best at church to make sure that everyone I come in contact with gets a smile, an encouraging word, a hug, or whatever the moment seems to call for. Some people go all week without feeling loved so they should definitely feel loved when they come to church.
In the past I have had some behaviors at church that needed to be corrected for the betterment of myself and those around me. Those things include not getting angry at someone for cutting me off in the parking lot, not answering my text messages, and not allowing my children to play video games.
See…I told you I was not perfect. However, at the age of 30, I continue to grow and mature. That being said, I think it is important to talk about three of the biggest distractions I have personally seen at church that cause a major distraction. I have been guilty in the past of the first and third of these. I believe that by recognizing and eliminating things that can distract us and others at church, we can all grow together.
1) Cell phones – It seems to never fail that when the minister is preaching or during altar call when people are praying for healing and blessings, that someone’s cell phone starts ringing loudly and it distracts from a spiritual moment. I usually remember to turn my ringer off of my phone, but the part that I have been guilty of is answering text messages during church. This may not distract the whole church but it certainly distracts myself and my neighbor. We could have missed the very thing we needed to hear that day because of that seemingly insignificant distraction.
2) Clothing – I am not talking about casual clothes versus dressy clothes. Rather, I am referring to revealing clothes versus non-revealing clothes. I bothers me to see women dressed scantily at church. Now, we can argue back and forth all day about the fact that this might be all they have to wear but we already know that nine times out of ten that is not the case. Wearing little skirts and showing your entire cleavage is distracting to both men and women even if they are not trying to look. It is also distracting to the preacher if you are sitting on the front row in that type of clothing.
3) Children – I mentioned earlier that playing games at church can be distracting. I used to allow my children to play their video games during church, bring playing cards, bring snacks, or whatever just to keep them quiet during service. What I didn’t realize is how distracting these things were to the people around us. I further did not realize that this distracts my children from learning at church. The snacks also would create commotion with other kids that were around and would usually leave a mess for us to clean up after church.
Even with these distractions around, church is still one of my favorite places to be. I am just thankful that I have become aware enough to recognize my own shortfalls and fix them. This is one of the things I pray for, not just with church, but in every area of my life.