Being in ministry makes me look at things with a different eye than I used to. I am constantly asking how things can be made better or what isn’t working the way it should. I think those are valuable things to think about because unless we are willing to critique things we can’t expect them to improve. If there are things off limits to critique then we have a whole new set of issues there. But my point is it is easy to lose contentment when you are on a constant search to make things better. I think we have to be careful that we don’t lose our contentment or ever feel that we won’t be satisfied until things are perfect in the church because they never will be.
No matter how hard we try, how much we plan or all the good intentions we have the church will never be perfect from our perspective. That doesn’t mean we don’t try to make it better or if we see room for improvement that we don’t try to do so. It does mean that we have to find space for contentment. Can you imagine if your view of your spouse was that you would never be content with them or fully love them until they were perfect and all the problems were in the past? We would never find anyone to love. The same is true with the church. It can always improve. It can always get more efficient. It should always be loved, cherished, appreciated, and adored even in light of her imperfections. If God can have grace with us we can have grace on his church.
So I think there is a balance to be found. We don’t need to be so content that the church loses its focus and misses its mission. We don’t need to be so critical that it is hard to still love the church in whatever state we find her. This takes wisdom. It takes patience. It takes the perspective of knowing that each and every one of us are all still being worked on and won’t ever be perfect this side of heaven. So let’s keep working to make it better and while we do so let us take time to enjoy all the good things God has already done in our midst that we can easily miss when we look at the bride of Christ with a critical eye.