Decided the following is a keeper ~ Learning Torah is not about having a suitcase full of information but rather, it’s about behavior …….Thanks Alyssa
Jun 8, 2021 by Alyssa Goodeauxin
My congregation offended me… and that’s a good thing.
Before I really get into the nitty gritty of a hard truth, I want to make a clear disclaimer first:
I will never condone belittling, condescending, intending to tear down one another behavior. Don’t think this is the permission slip you need to justify being unkind because it’s not.
Many of us have been pulled away from churches and fellowships that only demonstrated a toxic relationship dynamic. That’s a great thing. We saw that they were not being true to the image that Adonai teaches and demonstrates to us. A lot of us left that experience and never looked back.
Except that we never got over the hurt from that experience. Worse, some of us use that as an excuse to point blame at other people for what our relationship with Him looks like.
There are people that have said, “I walked away from my faith because of them.” That is absolutely the fault of people giving false testimony. They have completely abused authority in His name. What they’ve done cannot and should not be ignored.
What I’d also like to submit is our own responsibility in that. Our relationship with Hashem should not be founded on others to such a degree that it makes or breaks it. If we’re being honest, there are some people that look for a reason to run from the relationship through past hurts because living a life with Him isn’t for the faint of heart. He forces us to deal with the hardest parts of ourselves that we intentionally ignore, and you have to be ready for that. You have to be ready for the commitment of what it means to be His.
Sometimes, He will use the people around you to get the lesson across. It’s no mistake that the Torah teaches us to gather with other Believers and places high importance on community. What’s interesting is there aren’t a lot of stipulations in that.
We aren’t commanded to be on the same page with every issue. Of course we need to have a general agreement of foundation with some basic things like agreeing that Hashem is the one and only God, that His word is ultimate, etc. Nowhere does it say that we all need to have the exact same agreement on how we walk out what He teaches, and this is the where things get uncomfortable for people. We don’t know how to disagree without every issue being a make or break to the covenant.
Waiting for a congregation or fellowship that is “perfect” in a space where we look for reasons to leave can be more dangerous than beneficial. While not every fellowship is meant for us, if you find yourself withdrawing from fellowships repeatedly over things, it may be time to do some digging on what needs to heal in you.
Disagreeing brings growth. Being able to have a civil conversation about different interpretations is good. Discussing varying viewpoints with no intent to convince, only to learn and develop relationships more, is healing. The ability to discuss with anyone and still learn something, no matter if you feel you’re more or less knowledgeable than another, is how we grow humbly.
By no means should that disagreement lead to questioning in your faith. If it does, the issue isn’t in the congregation. He’s using the congregation to say there’s deeper work that needs to be done between you and Me. If you listen and do the work, your relationship will be stronger for it in the long run. Even if your viewpoint on a matter never changes, the exploration with Him in finding the answer is where intimacy is built.So don’t use the congregation to do all the exploring for you because then you’ll have a false sense of security in faith. But let the congregation challenge you to explore with Him deeper.