Just like you, I am a victim of “Church Hurt”. Today my body is engulfed with pain. My head, neck, left arm and right hip hurts. I won’t even mention of how tender my feet are. I’m a mess! In fact, my posture right now, is my hands on my head as my mind spins just from the thoughts of life circumstances.
The burden of my heart weighs me down more than the discomfort within my body. Hebrews 12:1 state, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. Truthfully, this is easier said than done. Even when I use the scriptures to encourage my sister or brother in the Lord, I say it with the “expectation” of a miracle being performed by God, knowing that my words by themselves are of no effect, but I speak them in faith.
So, what are the causes of church hurt? Well there are the personality/ behaviour factors that cause the clash of the titans. This is often ignited by a difference of option on the simplest things – to issues that are more complicated. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts” Proverbs 21:2.
There are the personal and the corporate ‘church hurt’ that occurs, when there is the death of a member of the church, the migration of a member to another ministry, or the shame of sinful actions. These are all painful instances that affect our heart. Although those closest to the center of the issue feel the greatest pain, the body of Christ is not void of the bruising, neither can it be said that the effects are minimized based on distance or absence during the crises.
It is unfortunate, but leaders are often pressured into taking the blame for a wounded sheep within the flock, or they feel guilty for being delivered from the ensuing dilemma. Remember this one thing: as long as blood is flowing within our veins, we will experience hurt.
Anger and immaturity in the heat of the moment feeds into the plan of the devil, the accuser of the brethren...Revelation 12:10, and we attack the one that saves us by his blood, Jesus Christ, by running away from his presence and from everything associated with Him.
Take a moment and think of something or someone that broke your heart. Think about how devastated you were. On the other side of your heartache, think of how you might have intentionally or unintentionally hurt someone; in whatever way it came about for you or me, there is great suffering between fellow Christians.
My new goal is to make a conscious effort to deflect my hurts into purpose. Before resorting to anger, I want to find God amid my pain; to ask him what he wants me to learn, and for Him to teach me to forgive. I want Him to lead me forward; not be burdened with pain, but rather, be wiser by the experience in which the love and peace of God is revealed.
The church is not the only place that people find themselves in conflict. As a matter of fact, the very best of us will find ourselves in chaos. Jesus had many issues with those around him, he was eventually killed, and the accusation placed above his cross read: “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS,” Matthew 27:37.
For what it’s worth, “hurting reminds us that we are alive!”