I have mentioned this before on my blog, but I wanted to discuss the subject of “church hurt” again.

There are several people in my life who are anti-church due to past hurts.   Some may even be anti-Christian (though they probably don’t see themselves as that).

I have heard comments such as “churches are full of hypocrites” to explain why they no longer go.   My thoughts:  Hypocrites are in banks, stores, gas stations, bars, but you go there with no problem.  ???

What does it mean to be a Christian?

Does it mean you have everything figured out and that you are whole?  If it does — please show me that in the scriptures.

It is absolutely by grace alone that we are saved from the penalty of sin.  God’s grace.  He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to become the sacrifice for us.   There had to be a spotless lamb because we are born with wickedness in our hearts.

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

This morning Joni Lamb discussed this subject and it stirred up what I have had in my heart this past week.

If you have been hurt by another human, then please FORGIVE them and don’t allow bitterness to spring up in your heart.  Bitterness, anger, and rage spews out of a wounded person’s mouth like a pungent aroma.

Hebrews 12:15
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Think of this scenario.

A woman walked out of her house one morning and a bird flew over and pooped (excuse the frankness) on her sweater.   She raised her fist at the bird and let him have it,  ” Stupid bird!  How dare he do that to me?!?!?” 

She went on with her day and finally someone asked her if she knew she had poop on her sweater.  Her answer, “Of course I do!  I want EVERYONE to see what that bird did to me!  And until that bird comes back and makes things right, I am going to carry it on my sweater!”   The poop smelled and it made the woman smell. 

The same thing happens with unforgiveness and bitterness.

Before I began writing this post, I turned on the TV just in time to catch TD Jakes share this:  “Many wounded people whose minds are like spaghetti RUN to serve in ministries.  You can find them in the praise ministry, the children’s ministry, the altar ministry, the prayer ministry, the parking ministry, — you name it.   Some even become pastors, elders, deacons, teachers, etc …  They are Christians.  They love Jesus!  But they aren’t FREE.”

Just because someone is saved by grace does NOT mean they are free from demonic strongholds.  

Those in leadership are still human.  I can testify that when I was in leadership roles I made some BIG mistakes!  Maybe even HUGE.  Was it with evil intentions?  No, but wrong nonetheless.  Why?  Because I am flesh and blood just like everyone else and I need Jesus daily.   Some were made out of pure spiritual immaturity.  Some mistakes were made out of wrong motives.   Did I learn from my mistakes?  Yes.  Do I still have MORE lessons to learn?  YES.

Back to my original point.   We are Christians because of Jesus, not because of people.  When we go to church our eyes should be on Jesus, not on people.   People can and most likely WILL hurt you.  People make mistakes.  We need to stop putting people on pedestals.

If you are reading this and are full of rage against Christians and the “injustice” that has happened in your life (trust me, I have been hurt and had to work through stuff too), make sure YOUR heart is right.  Ask God to shine His light in your own heart instead of pointing at the speck in the eyes of another.

Matthew 7:3
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Be careful not to judge.

Matthew 6:12
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God to forgive me as I forgive others.  That is scary.  I forgive others then pick the offense back up.  My heart is to forgive.  This scripture is one that many of us recite in the Lord’s Prayer and never really consider the weight of what we are praying.

I also don’t want to be like the unmerciful servant.  Do you?  See below:

Matthew 18:32-35
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

God have mercy on us and help us to forgive and to love others, freely.

Do you need to go to church to be saved?  NO, of course not.  But I know in my own life, I NEED the corporate worship.  I also learn and get sharpened when I am around other Christians — as fallible as they/we all are.

I have recommended this book so many times, so why not again?  If you feel offended, do yourself a favor and find the book:  The Bait of Satan by John Bevere.   If we finally have the revelation and understanding of what JESUS, who was sinless, endured — we truly have no platform to stand on with our anger and hurt.

I pray this post helps someone today.

God bless you!