Today someone said, “paying for hugs is fine, it’s the people giving them out for free that you need to watch out for.” But it’s those free hugs that may really help someone out.
I’ve heard a lot of people talking about relationships in church and I guess I’ve been thinking about it too. Not like, gettin’ a Christian girlfriend or something, more like buying a slurpee for a teenager.
God didn’t mean for anyone to be a Christian alone. He gave the “two or more” standard for when He shows up, that pretty much means that you’ve got to have at least one other guy with you. Well, do you think there might be some people in our churches that don’t have that other guy?
I know I’m mixing up verses and principles, but hear me out.
Loneliness is a big thing in America. There’s reports out that loneliness is the next major health issue in the U.S. Don’t you think there might be lonely people in church too?
People come into our churches and we expect them to start loving God and maybe start serving in some department and after a while we might invite them to Sunday lunch. But what’s more likely is someone comes to church, they don’t really talk to anyone, and then they don’t come back. We’ve missed the chance to bring someone to Christ, even though God dropped him right into your lap.
And then think about teenagers. My wife always talks about the time when she was a teenager and someone from our church in their early twenties took her for a drive. That was it. They drove around for a few minutes and it was meaningful enough for my wife that she still talks about it.
It doesn’t take much to be an influence in someone’s life. Greet someone new in church. Take a teenager out for some nachos. Invite a highschooler over after school. But that’s just the start.
The real life changing thing is to develop a relationship, even if it’s not your favorite thing to do. Or your favorite person to hang out with.
It’s those free hugs that really might be the difference between a healthy life with God, and one that just fades away.