Today, I think I’m going to touch on subject that’s not always talked about and I’ve been thinking a lot as I take time out from work today. I think that in many respects we try to band-aid the issues that are occurring in people’s lives with “Christian responses” like “The Joy of the Lord is your strength” or “it’ll get better” or “You shouldn’t be sad” like as if grief or pain are virtually non-existent in the Christian’s life. I don’t even know why I am touching on this subject today, but I’ve been talking to a few people this past week who have been hurt and heartbroken because of what someone else did to them. In many respects…the individuals in question where not non-believers but believers who we think should know better but don’t do better.
When I think about this, I think of the many countless times I myself have been hurt, discouraged, and disappointed by so-called “Christians” that I wonder why is it we put on facades at church acting like we aren’t wounded when you are. Singing a praise song isn’t healing the wound of wrongdoing done by another person and worse off by a believer in the same room clapping their hands getting away with no remorse. The worst thing I’ve also seen is how people in the Church hush people to silence and treat the problem like a silent topic that is a “non-issue” by their standards and simply sweep everything under the rug and start to alienate the victim as the problem and mark victims with scarlet letters as they gang up together to ostracise and criticize behind closed doors.
Is it really a wonder why the heart of Jesus is crying as He continues to watch people walk out of church and never come back?
The truth is, church isn’t a building, church is a community of believers…and if we are simply in a building with no believers…then the only thing for a believer to do is walk out.
We cannot simply anesthetize the problem with worship that doesn’t even reach the hurting soul sitting there in your midst feeling as if the songs mock their grievances that are being ignored with band-aid sugar coated words of non-encouragement. I remember when I was in a situation similarly sometime last year where I was wronged by someone in the church I used to attend and they treated me like I was the enemy, that I was the liar and made me out to be a person tooting her own horn. Instead of defending my honor, I decided to apologize for something I didn’t do because God distinctly tells us in the Word to forgive our brothers or sisters otherwise our sins will be retained before God.
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
I fear God enough to swallow up my dignity and take the beating of someone else’s evil actions and take the slap of humiliation while they continue acting like nothing ever happened. The thing is, that is but one incident that I had endured in that church. It takes a lot to forgive countless times, but that is what we are mandated to do as Christians and the reality is that very few follow this as the standard as many continue to hurt many innocents in the church today.
When I think back on this one incident I think to myself that forgiveness truly is divine because only God can give you the strength to forgive such wrongs. That incident broke me because I began to realize how Jesus felt to be betrayed by the so-called people He decided to die for.
You can call me a complainer or label me as a person who is bitter if you want, but I’m just giving you some real talk right about now. At this point, I’m so done with cookie cutter responses believers give to others that don’t really address the issue that the person has a legitimate complaint, a legitimate reason to be frustrated, angry, hurt and a reason to cry. Why act like someone should simply get over it??? Yes forgive, but cry if you need to cry, scream if you need to scream, write out your feelings on paper if you have to, do what you have to do to get out how you’re really feeling inside. Don’t bottle it in…let it out and then after that go to the alter and seek God for strength to forgive and heal your wounds. It may be true that the other person may never be sorry for what they did against you, but as long as you’ve done all you could do to release yourself from being offended and remaining offended by giving it up to God, this is I think the most healthy way to deal with people in pain.
The one thing I wish I had was someones embrace during the times when things went south in my life…Sometimes people don’t want you to say anything, they just want you to acknowledge most times silently that their hurt and are hurting….you don’t have to voice out everything to encourage them during these hard times…sometimes people just want to simply know that you’re there for them. However, in my experience…I can count the few that reached out and consoled my situations and they are the ones I currently serve with in the new church I attend. Don’t get me wrong…one incident isn’t enough to make me walk away from a situation…in fact, the incident isn’t even the reason why I left my previous church, it was God who told me it was time to leave and step into something new. I’ve endured a lot as a believer and what I can say is that I have learned so much that I appreciate the lessons I received in my previous church of what to do and what to NEVER do to other believers in my walk with God.
No church is perfect, but that doesn’t excuse why people still remain wounded just because of it.
My question lies in why the churches particularly in North America are losing impact in the now generation and the former generation? We continue to shrug our shoulders and anesthetize real issues that exist in the church and hide behind veils of hypocrisy acting like “this can’t be happening in my church” ….“it must be happening in another church but not mine”. My question is “Are you so sure of that???” are you not simply closing your eyes to these problems…acting like “it can’t be helped?”.
Let me get one thing straight, I’m not advocating a witch hunt for wrongdoers in the church, I’m simply addressing the fact that people are hurting in the church and hiding it or not addressing it for what it is by simply saying insensitive things like “Get over it already, People will hurt you”...Even if that statement maybe true, my question is why should that even be allowed in the first place??? Call me an idealist, but I have since discovered that as a Watchwoman for God, God’s heart bleeds for His people that are beaten down by their own fellow brothers and sisters actions. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21)…we all know this verse and yet people continue to be ruthless and callous in their actions, in their words and in their deeds against their brothers and sisters. The Fear of God wouldn’t allow for this type of thing to continue to happen so I am of the opinion that what is also lacking in churches today is the reverential fear of God. If we really loved God like we so claim we do...why is it that we continue to shrug our shoulders, fold our hands or look away when a fellow believer is wronging another? is it because we simply don’t want to get involved for fear of excommunication??? Just saying that word left a bad aftertaste in my mouth…people care so much about their status quo in the church that they won’t bend to help their brother lying half dead in the back row of the pew because status is important, not your brother or sisters hurting heart…
Is it a wonder why non-believers are more like Samaritans that go the distance for a hurting believer than what should be the job of a Christian believer in the first place????
Please humor me and read that story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible once again if you think I’m lying: Luke 10: 25-37
It’s one thing to have it be done by a non-believer, but believers hurting other believers, WHY should that be tolerated? I think it’s unacceptable.
I know it seems like I’m complaining…but I needed to get this off my chest today after counseling some individuals who’ve just encountered some crazy things that were done against them by their so called believer friends. I don’t think we can simply stand by like by-standers and watch like uninvolved onlookers to the wounded that are sitting next to you in the church. Let’s all develop a heart of compassion and start to reach out. Reaching out to others may not be your thing, but I’m sure you would like it if someone reached out to you when you were going through a rough time. It’s time to put our facades aside and start to be real again. So people of God, let’s get to it. This is my letter that I want to write to y’all today.
Let’s love like Jesus today, because tomorrow may just be too late. Think about that as you go about your daily business.
There is this song that has been in my heart for the past few days. I sang it this past Sunday service and it’s such an awesome song of worship…If we really honor God, and worship God and love God, then let’s prove it by our deeds and actions and words to one another.Don’t let a Samaritan (non-believer) put what should be our job to love others like Christ did to shame. Let’s not continue to play church anymore and be the real church.
This song is by Darwin Hobbs called We Worship You Today. May this Song bless your spirit.