This is a topic that I believe whether you’re a “firm” believer or “not” you can either relate too or know someone that has experienced “CHURCH HURT” – which happens to be the worst hurt you will ever feel probably in your entire existence here on earth, Why? Because we expect “church” people to be different from the world; we expect them to be loyal and nice. When our families turn their back’s on us – we expect the church people to step in and become that true family that we never had…but most of the times what we find out is that they are much more worse than our family; it is at that point where we find ourselves caught in the middle of which side to really trust.
If you took a poll today on why people do not attend church – about 95% of the survey will reveal that most of them were hurt in the church; some have been hurt so bad until they refuse to go back to their church, they begin to ward off every christian and the possibility of attending or joining other churches in the process. This is the reason T.V. evangelism has become so popular as most feel comfortable with just staying home and visiting the T.V.; listening to the latest ministry craze. The world is made up of imperfect people and sad to say or contrary to popular belief, those same “imperfect” people reside within the church too.
The most common mistake people make when they either join, enter or become friends with people in church (especially if those people hold and office or have the title of a Bishop, Pastor, Evangelist and etc) we immediately begin to put them on a pedestal; we begin to praise them for every right and nail them to the cross for every wrong, we make them perfect in our minds and put them up in the ranks where only God is suppose to sit; we look up to them, we aspire to be like them, talk like them, act like them , walk like them – we initially exchange God for them because we can see and feel them. We might even began to believe that maybe God has given them to us in exchange for him; until he returns. But as soon as they do something we don’t like, they act in a way in which we know they shouldn’t act, they lie to us or live outside of what our perfect mind of them says they should live like – Then that’s where church hurt begins.
I’ve had friends and family whom experienced church hurt, I’ve experienced a great deal of it myself and I have to say, it doesn’t feel good. We think because people are in church that they’re suppose to act a certain way – Be nice, kind, comforting, cordial, friendly, helpful, guide and lead by Godly example and endure trials with a smile and a pep in their step; what we find is that they’re rude, obnoxious, self-seekers, liars, deceivers, gossipers, kick you while you’re down, ungrateful, backstabbing, judging cheaters – WOW! not the type of words you’d expect to be said about “church people” – But they’re IMPERFECT, just as we all are. The bible tells us to be PERFECT as Christ is Perfect, it didn’t say these individuals we look up too would be PERFECTED! as none of us will be completely that until Jesus returns – whether it’s a Pastor/Bishop or lay-member we’re all striving to live out perfection everyday including your “favorite” ministers.
One thing you must remember, when we stand before God on judgment day we “ALL” have to give an account of our own individual sins, issues, hurts, habits and hang-ups this includes you and the people that caused the hurt. On that day – a person’s churchly title will not matter as we all will be standing before the True Perfect King and give an account for what we’ve all done and said…Good or Bad.
Over coming church hurt or a church’s negativity doesn’t happen overnight, you can’t keep yourself away from the church with the promise to return after everyone has repented, apologized or come to grips that they’re the one’s causing the hurt and pain – that’s not going to happen. You have to make a decision on whom you are truly serving – The People or God; If it’s God, then let him deal with people and let him work on you.
A Few Main Tips to Avoid Church Hurt ~
- Listen more than you Talk – Every church is made up of cliques and they’re not all Godly, for most times they are the one’s keeping up the most static. In listening you learn people’s ways and motives; some are noticed right away while others have mastered hiding their true character. Pray and Ask God to lead you to whom you should talk too.
- Focus on YOU! – You can’t help what other people are doing and not doing; God has gifted you and you can’t waste that gift on putting your attention on negativity or other peoples issues. Let God perfect your gift, use it to the best of your ability and soon, God will move you if the environment you’re in is not right. God may have you in that space to teach you or work something out of you, If you can work through the negative; God will honor that and move you where you truly need to be.
- Don’t Stop Going – You might not want too, but you must stay in church because if you go elsewhere you will be encountered by the same people that you left; in which are guaranteed to be at the next church – TRUST ME – it may be a different church with different people but the negative spirit will remain the same. Let God move you, Not People..
We’re all imperfect trying to live out perfection before a PERFECT King, I don’t know what church hurt you might have experienced in the past or may be going through right now, but just know this and it might be a struggle right now, depending on how deeply embedded your hurt is – Ask God to re-direct your FOCUS off of them and onto HIM! Begin to focus on your talents and gifting’s and work in that until GOD tells you to move. We are not equipped to put anyone in heaven or hell – Only God can do that, In the meantime Love them, Pray for them and let God do his job in healing you completely.
Will the Real Christian stand up Please?, If it’s not in them, Let it be shown in YOU!