The Family Secret: Dealing with the Severity of Church Hurt

Dealing with Church Hurt

Dealing with Church Hurt

The Family Secret: Dealing with the Severity of Church Hurt

Wounded Sheep, Crucified by Christians or Church Hurt is a blemish, spot and wrinkle in the church that is often dismissed or minimized at the dismay of its casualties.

We live in an expository generation. Once upon a time families lived by the mantra, “what happens in this house, stays in this house, which at times hid very dark and depraved secrets. But with the overwhelming need to please the idol–social media, discretion has become a distant ideal and casual tool of self-preservation. Social media has given the voiceless an extensive platform to discuss their likes, loves, disgusts and misfortunes in a way to either encourage or forewarn. It has been a help or hindrance since its conception, the best tool to precipitate good or evil in today’s society. Many have chosen to expose and share their experiences good, bad and ugly within the church.

Several books and blogs have been written about the element of church hurt and how to deal with it. Church hurt can range from spiritual scrapes to gaping wounds. Once more, the naivety of some is that church hurt is only spiritual. But, there are several that suffer from physical wounds at the hand of those that were heralded to guide the soul; insurmountable cases of molestation, sodomy and beatings.

The largest melting pot for hurt is the church; it is the place where out of desperation people seek refuge when they have nowhere else to turn. Which is where we need God to give us the wisdom on how to get some parishioners the help they truly need; not only by using the word of God and the working of the gifts of the Spirit but also by seeking those The Lord has equipped to administer professional help.

The Church is often referred to as a hospital. Hospitals take care of the sick and the sick come in with an expectancy to receive excellent care. When the broken and wounded come into the church they come with the same expectancy. But just like in a hospital there is a hierarchy to this care. We’ve all been there; you go to the emergency room because you indeed have an emergency. You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t. However, someone comes in after you with an even greater emergency than you and down the totem pole you go. The dilemma in the church is that a lot of these wounds are invisible or intentionally hidden and shielded from impending judgment.

The truth of the matter is the people of the church are just that, people: fallible, flawed people. Honestly, some churches are not fully staffed to meet the needs of some of its congregants. On any given Sunday, you will find victims of rape, physical abuse, child abuse/neglect, or domestic violence. Along with the assailants: rapists, murderers, convicted felons, drug addicts, alcoholics. The list goes on but so does the grace of God.

Granted some hurts are feelings being hurt due to the sense of entitlement that many bring with them to the House of Prayer. We must be careful:

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled…”-Hebrews 12:15

Every hurt has the potential to take root and grow into something much bigger than it needed to be. As leaders in the church we have to remain sensitive to the Spirit of God. He will reveal those harmful things and how they should be dealt with.

So what do we do with these wide-ranged hurts? Either intentional or unintentional it is inevitable in the church setting. Our Lord Himself has proclaimed it.

“Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” -Matthew 18:7

Offences are necessary for growth. Sometimes they are the hyssop that purges us of our own pride, insecurities and ill intentions. The mirrors that force us to take an honest look at ourselves and behold the type of man we really are; realizing that we have resurrected the old man by feeding life to gossip, lying and back biting.

We see several times in scripture where men despised the men of God for messages that told the truth and nothing but the truth. The truth hurts and the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. Christianity is frankly not a place for the weak but the tenacious and resilient.

Oftentimes the greatest advocates and ministers are those that have endured the transgression themselves. They have the passion to help others overcome situations they are all too familiar with. Prison ministries, substance abuse counselors, support groups for various calamities and grief are all places where you will find not only survivors but thrivers.

Someone that has been fortunate enough to not experience church hurt should be careful of their approach to a person who has. Belittling them or minimizing their circumstances will possible cause more damage.

“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”
Proverbs 18:19

It takes a very wise, mature Christian to win over these suffering saints. More times than not, the saints that are still present and active in the body of Christ after being hurt by others are the ones who have built a strong, personal relationship with God. They have learned to not worship the people who do the work of the Lord but rather worship the Lord of the work.