Do I have to go back if I’ve been hurt by the church?
It’s hard to look at church the same when you’re torn down and discouraged by the very place you’re supposed to turn to for encouragement and wisdom. Someone said they’d call but then didn’t. Maybe you were asked to leave because you got pregnant or listened to the wrong kind of music. You were looked down on for something you believed or said.
When you’ve been hurt by the church, how do you get past your past and move forward?
4 Steps To Deal With Pain Caused by the Church
1. Give people grace.
There will always be imperfect people in the church that will hurt you, intentionally or not. We’re all imperfect and we all hurt others to some extent at one time or another. God made it clear in Genesis 2 that we are not made to be alone. We cannot do life alone! And it is essential for us to be a part of the local church as a result. If you’ve been hurt by the church, it’s time to let go of the hurt and let God lead you to healing through giving the church another chance.
2. Forgive the people who hurt you.
It is hard to let go when you’ve been hurt by others, but God doesn’t call us to love others unless they are unfair or mean to us; He calls us to love others always and no matter what (Colossians 3:13). Not forgiving others hurts you more than the people you are refusing to forgive.
3. Redefine church.
It is really easy to define the church as hurtful when the people inside have wounded you, but the church is not defined by the imperfect people within. It is defined by the head of the church, Jesus.
Let God lead you to healing through giving church another chance.
Instead of allowing others to define church for you, let the Bible determine your thoughts on church. What are the thoughts on the church in the Bible? It is a place of encouragement, instruction, outreach, and love (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Romans 15:14, Mark 16:15 and 1 John 3:11). Church is a place where change and growth take place.
4. Give church another chance.
The church is the bride of Christ. He loves the church! Jesus started the church, supports the church, and calls us to be a part of the church, too (Matthew 16:18, Colossians 1:18, Hebrews 10:25). Loving Jesus means loving His bride. And that means we need to give church another chance.