I grew up going to church my whole life. I’ve seen the church be there for my family, help those in need, give us a place to worship God, build friendships, and grow as believers of Jesus.
But I’ve also see the church hurt people – hurt people I love; hurt me. I’ve seen the church judge people, blame people, treat people unfairly, reject people, and turn their back on people.
So what shall we do? Turn our back on the church; shun her; condemn her; judge her; reject her; publicly defame her? After all, that’s what she has done to us, isn’t it?
The problem with this tempting philosophy is that it is flawed. While many of the things I mentioned have happened to me and perhaps to you, the church is not a human being, it’s not a single person that did these things. The church in and of itself can’t do much at all. Without the people that make up the church, it is just walls and chairs and lights.
The truth is, the church didn’t hurt us – people did. A person, or a few people said those things, did those things that hurt us. But turning your back on church because certain individuals hurt you is like boycotting McDonald’s because one of the cashiers insulted you.
Being hurt by people in church is unfortunately a very raw reality for too many people. So what should we do? Here’s a couple of things I try to remember:
- The church didn’t hurt you, people did: Whether you like it or not, God has chosen for the church of Jesus Christ to carry on the work He started here on earth. To be His hands and feet, to bring light into dark places, to help those who are in need. People aren’t perfect; people mess up, people are sinful, and people make mistakes. But don’t turn your back on God’s idea because some people blew it.
- Watch what you say: The Bible says that the Church is the bride of Christ and He is coming back for her. Now “She” is made up of all of us who believe in Jesus and gather together in His name. So if She is His bride then we must watch what we say about Her. You would never say to a bridegroom, “Hey, I like you a lot but your bride sucks!”. So why do we say that to Jesus? If not with our words, then certainly with our actions.
I am sorry if people in church have hurt you. I pray that you will be able to forgive them and try to move past it. I pray that you will find a church that you can call home. I pray that you can play your part to see the church fulfil her God ordained destiny on the earth.
And I pray that when Jesus comes back for His bride, the Church, that you will be found in that number.
Perhaps being hurt by church has caused you to walk away from God. Or perhaps you have been so put off by how people in the church have acted, that you’ve never opened your life to Him. I pray that you would come back to Him today, or open your heart to Him for the first time. If you’d like to do that, please click on the link below or on the pop up.