One of the things that I hate hearing the most is how hurt someone has been by "the church" and so they quit going altogether. If everyone who has ever been hurt by someone in the church quit going to church then the buildings would be empty.
Did you catch what I said there?
I said hurt by someone in the church.
Not hurt by the church.
These are two separate things.
The church doesn't hurt people.
People hurt people.
Trust me, I know.
We have been deeply hurt by people and after our last experience I wanted nothing to do with the ministry ever again. I remember telling my husband, as we were pulling into our current church parking lot to interview for the job, "I don't want to do this anymore."
But the church isn't about me. And I'm glad that we didn't rely on my feelings as a deciding factor.
You are going to be hurt by people. It happens. It is part of life. People are mean, jealous, cruel, unkind, unscrupulous. They will use you, they will talk about you, they will promote themselves to be better than you. It happens. And it happens in the church by people who attend the church. It shouldn't, but it does.
Some of the most cruel people I've met have been good church people.
But you know what? They are also some of the most miserable people I've met.
I could give you example after example from my own experiences, but some are so nasty you probably wouldn't believe me.
As Christians we should all be chasing after Jesus. We should want to be like Him. We should be acting like Him. My friend Mark made an excellent quote on Facebook the other day. He said, "Simple rule for my life: Stick with what the resurrected guy says."
That is so simple but so powerful.
Unfortunately you will be hurt anytime you are around any group of people for a while. That's just how people are. We are not perfect, not any of us.
It is best if we learn to let things roll off of our backs. Don't dwell on these things. On these hurts. Time heals all wounds. Our job is to forgive and love.
Remember, we don't always have to like them.
We don't have to trust them again either. As a child you learn that when the stove it hot it will burn you and you learn very quickly not to touch it or you will get burned over and over again. It's the same way with people. Go to church. Worship together. You don't have to trust the person who hurt you, you don't even have to talk to them. There was one man that I avoided altogether because he was just so nasty. You don't have to be Facebook friends, you do have to love them. Love, through Christ, is sometimes the only thing you can do with some of them.
Just remember that it is not the church's fault.
You were hurt by people.
There is so much that a church can offer you and so much that you can offer a church.
Let's work together.
To mentor, disciple, and teach others the ways of Christ.