As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. (Ps 16:3 ESV)
God's people are the best people in the world! I love the Church and I love God's people. I have not just been joined to Jesus, but I have become a part of a people — The people of God.
How do you see the Church? What is your impression of God's people? Do you see all the divisions, the controversies, and the problems... or like Abraham have you been captivated by the vision of the city whose architect and builder are God, the new Jerusalem, a beautiful bride for the King of Glory?
When you spot problems and difficulties (and no-one is denying they are there) how do you address them? Do you go straight for the jugular pulling no punches, convinced that you have the heart of God for the issue.... or like Paul when he wrote to the Corinthians, have you caught the greater heart of God for his Church, so that inspite of it all you can still say "I give thanks to my God always for you" (1 Co 1:4)
God loves his Church! He is passionate about her. He sent his son to die for her. She is Christ's glorious inheritance. She is the joy for which Jesus spurned the shame of the cross. How can we claim to have the heart of God, if we are derisory about his bride?
I think I mentioned how stirred I was by listening to Richard Anniss's word recently [You really need to listen to it!] Part of the heart of God that Richard communicated was that "Our 'I' has to become 'We' and our 'Me' has to become 'Us'" Part of the outworking of this, I believe, is in the area of our confession. We need to take the Godly principles we have learned about the importance of our words as they relate to 'my' life and apply them to how we talk about 'Us' — the church. Those of us who would not dream of confessing anything negative over our own bodies... how can we make such confessions about the body of Christ?! We who would never consider speaking anything that dishonoured our wives... why should we feel at liberty to say such things about Christ's bride?!
I'm not the world's greatest councillor, but one thing I have noticed: when Christians talk about what's wrong in their lives, and start to talk about "the church" as something separate to themselves — a "them" rather than an "us" — alarm bells start ringing! We are not an isolated observer passing comment on something other to ourselves, when we say bad things about "the church", we condemn ourselves with our own words!
Let us line up our confession with what God says about his Church. Not because we have our heads in the sand, but because we have our gaze fixed in heaven.