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My parents bought my 16 year old daughter her first car, a 1970 VW Beetle. While it was cute and a collector car, it wouldn’t run right. Even though it had been a gift from her grandparents, it cost as much in repairs as a new car would have cost in payments. While it had brakes, the brakes weren’t installed properly and the car would pull to the left so hard that it put you in oncoming traffic. While it had a fancy radio, we didn’t have an owner’s manual and we could just barely figure out how to save a station. When you turned hard to the right, the radio would quit working altogether. It had a brand new battery, but often wouldn’t start because of other electrical system problems. Twice it caught fire. Only I could move the front seat forward or backward, and it would often recline, on its own, at the most inopportune moments. The blinker mechanism broke. I replaced it, but could never get the horn to honk after that. We should have known something was up when the man we bought it from, brought over the tow bar he had installed on the front bumper! Even though it looked nice and got the attention of all her friends, the car just wouldn't work right.

Families and churches can be just like this. They may look nice on the outside, but just doesn't work right. We must overcome our own dysfunctions to love and serve each other.

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