Moving past negative experiences

poor serviceDriving to the hospital with a very ill child is not how anyone wants to spend a Friday evening. By 10pm I was carrying my very sleepy daughter into Asda to collect a prescription. Cow pyjamas and pink dressing gown (what my daughter was wearing, not me) are an unusual thing to wear to Asda but we were served both quickly and helpfully by the pharmacist.

Colchester hospital has had a lot of bad press recently, but the service we received at the walk in centre (okay, we drove there but don’t tell anyone) which is attached to the hospital was excellent. I could boycott the hospital because of the negative press, but my experience of the staff, wards and departments there is excellent. I am sure that there are some things that need sorting at the hospital but my experience of it has been good.

Every few months Tesco sends me a save £5 when you spend £30 voucher and I sometimes use it (whilst remembering that you don’t have to use those vouchers) on DVDs. Pre orders usually arrive on the Saturday before the Monday release date and I have been really pleased with the Tesco entertainment level of service. For Tracey’s birthday we pre ordered ‘Walking on Sunshine’ but because of an error it wasn’t posted. I contacted Tesco and they said they had resolved things but it still didn’t arrive and so I contacted them again and they said it had been posted already but it still didn’t arrive. When it did eventually turn up, the date of postage was after the day on which they had said that they had posted it. I wrote and complained and got an apology but nothing more. What would you do in this situation? Would you stop using that company? The other pre ordered DVDs arrived on time and so I decided to keep ordering from them (while they send me money off vouchers anyway!) I am setting aside my one bad experience and focusing on the generally good service I have received.

I feel like we are generally getting more judgemental and less tolerant as a society. The truth is that everyone makes mistakes and sometimes we need to accept that things go wrong. I wonder if TV shows such as the X factor and Britain’s Got Talent are changing the way we think? We watch these shows as people making a judgement rather than people simply enjoying entertainment and I wonder if we carry this attitude into life with us?

Do we focus on mistakes and imperfections more than on what people get right?

Do we judge and reject people and experiences because of one thing going wrong?

Do you go to church? To be honest, I have had some bad experiences in church.

I was once told I had sat in the seat that someone else always sat in and so I was asked to move.

I have visited churches where no one spoke to me before or after the service.

I went to one church where the leader appeared to be high on something and he described himself as a loony several times in the service.

Do these bad experiences define what church is?

I have been to churches where people have made room so I could sit next to someone rather than to sit by myself.

Most churches I visit are really friendly and welcoming.

I know lots of church leaders who are able to be enthusiastic and passionate without appearing to be high on something.

Have you had a bad experience of church? If you have, I’m really sorry but please don’t give up. Why not give church another try?

Are there relationships or situations where we have judged harshly and unnecessarily? If we have, is it time to start again?

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
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