It’s easy to get discouraged or cynical as we see the hypocrisy or failings of some who have been our fellow believers. Perhaps a pastor, a friend or church we have been a part of for years has let us down.

But would we abandon our faith just because a person or organization has let us down? We need to consider the claims of Christ on our own lives for ourselves. Never mind what someone else has or hasn’t done. It doesn’t change what’s true.

If we look to people we will often be disillusioned. People are people; even the best are broken, fallible, works in progress. We neither know how God is dealing with them nor the inner secrets of their own hearts; in a very real sense each of us is alone with God, and it is to Him alone we will answer to.

If we come to Christianity only because it’s comforting or useful, we come for the wrong reasons. We must come because it’s true; and if so, its claims on our lives don’t change just because people or churches have disappointed us. We serve only the One who died and rose again for us.

St. Augustine said the problem is “inordinate love”, meaning we make good things ultimate things, and that’s where we run into problems. There’s nothing wrong with admiring a pastor or friend or serving in a great organization; but we are foolish to build our lives around anything but Jesus. To do less is just idolatry.

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