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Do You Show More Grace to Whataburger Than to Church?

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I eat out more than I should. Fried chicken is my favorite. Hot dogs are a close second. I’ll eat French fries, but I prefer onion rings or fried pickles.

I like the food but have low expectations for the service.

At this point, there is a 50/50 chance of receiving a wrong order. There is either a missing drink, missing fries, or added tomatoes or onions when the burger should only have ketchup. My first job was as a cashier at McDonald's, so I understand that mistakes can happen. But they sure seem to be happening more often nowadays.

Still, despite the many mistakes, I keep coming back for more.

Has your favorite burger joint often messed up your order? Do you still find the grace to overlook their mistakes and stay a good customer?

If so, I recently saw a post that said,

“McDonald’s can mess your order up 101 times, and you still keep going back. One thing goes wrong at church, and you quit?”


Doesn’t he have a point? Don’t some of us quit the church too quickly?

I don’t know what happened. But you blamed your pastor, elders, deacons, or parishioners for something. Maybe you disagreed with the pastor’s interpretation of a passage, an elder criticized a Christian writer you like, or the worship team refused to give you a solo. Whatever happened, in your mind, the church messed up, that was intolerable, and you took your business elsewhere. You showed more grace to McDonald’s than you did to your church!

Paul knew all about church infighting and personal grievances.

No matter how hard you try, avoiding them is impossible. Church people will always step on each other’s toes. While you can’t stop those grievances from happening, you can react to them differently:

Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive (Col 3:12-13).

If you spend any amount of time with other church people, they’ll do things to hurt your feelings. That’s even more certain than Whataburger, McDonald’s, or Taco Bueno getting your order wrong. When it happens—and it will!—instead of breaking off all relationships, show a little grace and bear with them. When you remember how much the Lord has forgiven you, the offense will seem like small fries.

Send your questions or comments to Shawn.


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