I LOVE this post by Grayson Bearden, also known as the TikTok preacher! It completely resonates with me and if you’re reading this, then probably with you as well. This post reminded me of all the times I’ve listened to people’s stories of great offenses by people in the church that caused deep hurt to the intricate places of their hearts. Church hurt is any type of emotional, spiritual, or physical harm that occurred to the church, its leaders, or its members. Maybe it was someone in your group that betrayed your trust. Maybe you feel you were wronged by the leadership in the church. Maybe you were even offended by something the pastor said on Sunday. What do you do with that? Everyone responds to church hurt differently.
Some stay at the church but allow distrust, anger, and bitterness to overcome them. Some let it become a hindrance to other’s walk with Jesus. Others decide to reject the church and they just won’t attend any longer. But just to be clear, we may walk away from the institution of “the church” but the church is all the believers who make up the body of Christ. So, in reality, we can’t walk away from the church because we are the church and we are everywhere (1 Corinthians 12: 12). The most devastating of all, are those who blame the actions of sinful men and women on God and then walk away from Him. Here is the irony of that, they reject hope in Jesus and walk into a world that offers no hope at all, to protect their hearts from getting hurt again. Ummmmmmmmm ok🙄
Here is how I responded to church hurt. Six years ago my husband and I found ourselves in the back row of the church we currently attend after walking away from our home church. We had a deep sense of hurt, rejection, and betrayal. I will say, I was angry at the people of our home church because of the situation we found ourselves in. I can honestly say, I was angry at God for leading me there and then experiencing this pain all while trying to be in His will. Don’t judge me. I decided that though I wasn't willing to walk away from the church altogether or God, I thought a little silent treatment was in order. I can imagine God in heaven thinking, “Jessica, I’m the creator of the world, do you think your silent treatment is going to affect me? I’m always there, how can you ignore me?” 🤣🤣
So, I sat in the back row, sang the songs, stood up when the pastor said so and sat down when they asked. But I refused to talk to God. He was the brunt of my anger since the people I believed hurt me didn’t care that I was angry. I sat there for months and slowly God began healing my heart and He used that time to renew me and refresh my passion for Him and our relationship. You see it’s ok to be angry with God when you’re hurt, offended, or rejected. He is willing to take the brunt of your anger because he died so that we could be healed of all of it. Just because we’re angry doesn’t mean we walk away from God and His people. Why you ask? Because running to God is the only real answer to true healing. God used that new church family to bring about reconciliation where it was needed the most. Am I telling you to run to another church? No. I’m telling you to run to God! He will guide you. Being angry enough to walk away from the church or God just doesn’t make sense because a life without God is no life at all🔥
There are some things that I want you to consider if you are thinking about walking away from the church or God, or you have walked away from the church or God.
Remember, we go to church to be in a community of believers who become our family because we are brothers and sisters. Guess what happens in families? You got it, we fight! Just like a major holiday family gathering and election time 😂 We fight because we are different. We have different beliefs based on where we grew up, the type of culture we were raised in, our economic status, our parents, our language, political beliefs. Really, the only thing most of us have in common is the fact that most of us believe and have accepted Jesus into our lives. Yes, I said most of us. Believe it or not, there are people in the church who have not received Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. God is working on them and we’re thankful they are there. Just because we fight, doesn’t mean we don’t love each other.
Remember that hurt people, hurt people. None of us is perfect, not even one! The only perfect one was Jesus who died and rose again for our sins (Romans 4:25). I’m a sinner and so are you. Bad things happen because we live in a world full of sinful people. We will inevitably be hurt and most likely we will be hurt by someone we like, love, and respect. God calls us to extend love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness to those who hurt us, just as Christ extends unlimited love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness to us even in our ugliest, most unforgivable moments of life!
Remember, even though we love Jesus, our character may not always represent the character of God! We were born sinful which means that we must continuously walk with the strength of the Holy Spirit so every day we become more like Him. Just because someone, who is a Christ follower, hurts you, doesn’t mean their actions represent who God is. Our goal as Christians is to be more like Christ so that by our fruit, they will know that we are connected and in a relationship with the Father (Matthew 7: 15-20, John 15: 4). Therefore, when Christ becomes greater and greater in us, our flawed and sinful character will become less and less (John 3:30, NLT). To become more like Christ, and reflect His character, we must be willing to put away our own agendas, desires, goals, and ambitions; to submit to His will and plan for our lives. Y’all I’m preachin'🙌🏽🔥
We must take responsibility for our own spiritual growth. Yes, we go to church to hear the sermons, participate in the groups, and serve the body of Christ. But ultimately our growth comes from our intentionality in seeking, building, and maintaining a relationship with Jesus Christ. So, if someone offends you in church, our first reaction should not be to walk away from it all. From the perspective of an opportunity for spiritual growth, should be to present the offense to the Lord. Then ask God to help you address the offense according to Matthew 18: 15-17. Ask God to show you your role in the conflict. Yup, I said it! Sometimes we contribute to what is happening. Ask God to help you change your heart to reflect His character to deal with this difficult situation.
Are you still feeling church hurt? Present it before the Lord and ask Him why you are offended? Trust me, there is nothing more God appreciates than when we allow Him to tell us about ourselves LOL He’s like “finally, they want to receive my truth!”
Take some time to reflect and journal about the questions below. Look up the verses and let God speak to you!
SHARE what God is doing in your life in the comments. If you LOVE this post, SHARE with your friends on social media!
GROWTH THROUGH SELF-REFLECTION
What are you hurt about?
What was your response to that church hurt?
Was your response the way God wanted you to respond?
If not, what could you have done differently?
Have you made amends or asked forgiveness to the person or people?
What did you learn from the situation?
Have you grown closer to God?
Are you fully healed from that hurt, or do you allow it to affect how you make decisions today?
1 Corinthian 12:12
Romans 4: 25
Matthew 7: 15-20