Let’s get something clear: I hate women’s conferences. And Bible studies. And meetings. Its because I’m insecure and intimidated. I compare myself to everyone. And when I go to a women’s conference where there are skinnier, prettier ladies telling me how to have a closer walk with God. Well, it’s just too much for my fragile ego. I mean, seriously? I can't even call them shallow if they’re speaking at a Christian seminar. If there is a women’s conference scheduled, I’ll try to find a dentist appointment or a toilet to clean.
It is definitely a pride thing. I don’t like it when I feel like I’m missing something or not measuring up. So when I hear about someone else’s kids making all stars or the new, life-changing scripture-memory plan, and all I can come up with is, “Well, we weren’t late for school yesterday,” I come away with a bad case of the “Amy-Stinks” and wind up just eating a bunch of brownies.
Discipleship groups are different. I think it’s because there is not a leader/led mentality, just broken people sharing their paths to knowing God better. To me, D-group is just friendship done right-- with Jesus mixed in the middle. There is vulnerability, authenticity, and acceptance. This prideful girl is able to share that she’s fed her family hot dogs or cereal for the last three nights, that she can't remember when her youngest child last had a bath, and that she’s mad at her husband to the point where she doesn’t even want to take communion because she would have to give up the grudge she’d been holding. And after sharing, I realize that I’m loved anyway-- without the front, without the mask; which is how I’ve been wanting to be loved the whole time. As it frees me up to stop comparing myself, I hear others’ struggles and feel understood, heard, and not alone in my fight to “work out my salvation.”
So if the church is really the Body of Christ, then that means I get to spend an hour and a half each week with little pieces of Jesus loving me and speaking truth to me. How could I not love that time? James 5:16 tells us to “confess [our] sins to each other and pray for each other so that [we] may be healed.” I’m starting to like the whole “confess your sins to each other” thing. There is healing here: healing of my hard heart and sensitive ego, tearing down walls of self protection, chasing away fear and humiliating my pride. What a gift. It’s a whole lot better than scrubbing toilets.