I come from a background that every Sunday you were at church. I’ve been attending church as long as I can remember. I came to know Christ as a child in elementary school. Since then I have learned a lot about what being a Christian means. As I have grown up I have realized that the church isn’t perfect. They make mistakes, and there will be hurt feelings at times. But it is how you react to these moments is the key.
Now I don’t begin to know what you have gone through, and how the church has affected you. I know some of the deepest scars can come from the church. I don’t want to minimize the pain that could be there. There are a few legitimate reactions to when the church hurts you. Some of the options you have is to run away from church in general, run away from the situation at hand, or you can try to resolve the conflict. I’m going to discuss each of these reactions in further detail.
The first reaction is to run away from Jesus Christ all together. You might think of how someone who is aiming to follow Christ could hurt someone. I know as a Christian we should be striving to follow Christ, and when we see his church hurt us than it can be easy to give up on Christ. That you don’t want to be a part of the church and hurt people like these people did to you. But I want to say that not everyone in the body of Christ is like this. I don’t want you to think that we as a whole will hurt you. Christ will accept anyone regardless of their actions.
The second reaction is to run away from the situation. This is one that I struggle with. The natural tendency of me is to avoid conflict with all costs. This can be seen in multiple ways: by avoiding the person involved, the group involved, or the church you attend all together. Conflict and pain are something that is hard to approach. That we want to put on a front that doesn’t show we are hurting inside. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing to try to be positive when you are hurting. During these times remember that Christ and the church are there for you during this time.
Or the third reaction is to resolve the conflict at hand. This is the best solution for when the church hurts you. Sometimes when someone hurt you they didn’t even realized it. You need to approach the matter with love and kindness towards the person. It won’t help the situation if you approach a person with anger.
There is something that applies to each of these people’s reactions. Every one of us should seek Jesus when these conflicts arise. Because he will be there for you during this difficult time, and he will walk through each moment with you and guide you to make the best decision for the situation at hand.
Another thing that applies to every one of us is that we should seek forgiveness in these situations. One that I have realized is that refusing to give forgiveness hurts you more than it does the person that hurt you. One thing that has helped me to forgive is to pray for the person that hurt you. It makes it hard to be mad at someone when you are praying for them and looking for the good in them.
- “This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” ~Job 6:10 ESV
- “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” ~Genesis 28:15 ESV
- “And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” ~Psalm 50:15 ESV
- “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” ~ Matthew 6:14 ESV
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