Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wounded in Church and People in Need

Hurt By the Church ...

Here we read about a prevalent need that many are desperately wanting help for. What is written here is an attempt to answer those who have been hurt and burned out by the church, but long to heal, letting go of the devastatingly negative thoughts church has pushed on them and coming back to finding a family in Christ. Although statistics reveal this, most of us know by experience that too many times people are hurt within the church. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I have observed different types of people, both those who serve in church, and those who walk in the doors. I have felt and seen how the easiest people to get hurt by, angry at, and the hardest people to forgive can be Christians. The enemy is using every tactic in the world to turn people against the security and truth of God as well as turn Christians against themselves through believed lies and through judgmental spirits. It is so important to remember that the church itself is not the problem, but is intended to be a picture of the marriage we have with the Savior Jesus Christ. It is the bride; God’s people whose never-ending sin, which damages the beauty of the church. Knowing what it feels like to be hurt by believers, can we use that understanding to fight through the pain and be the people who change the wounded perspective of others? The enemy does not want believers to make Christ known or make Him look good and Christians are God’s device for demonstrating this. Where is our dignity in who we are called to be? Where is our courage to fight the good fight and make the people of God look good? The overwhelming fact that people in church have, will, and do get hurt is not going to go away therefore people must learn to change their views and learn to see others selflessly, choosing to abolish any judgment that is lurking on our minds and hearts and refusing to let the enemy keep us from what is intended for good.

 Studying counseling helps us learn to see through others with an empathetic and unbiased opinion, but a person does not have to research counseling to non-judgmentally notice the needs of others. Seeing the needs of people despite their deeds, is something all people explicitly Christians should practice, but don’t. This perspective should be derived from the love and example of Christ and is lived out through mental and emotional will power in choosing to walk and live and breathe with the desire to be at peace with all men. We are so closed to others in this day an age and a lot of that comes from so much trust being broken, but for others it may just be a prideful attitude that can be turned around. There is a need to welcome people with mercy and grace not knowing who they are and not caring what they look like or how much they give. People need to remember that everyone you met has a story, a past, and a heart that is in need of something. For some, just a stare, a gesture, or short word whether friendly or not will change a their entire perspective of the church and God’s people. Unfortunately too many times someone walks out from visiting church with the negative sided experience. A sad and common problem that is continuously occurring each week is the lack and inability to see past the looks and actions of people and reach the needs regardless.

 In the song, “Does Anybody Hear Her,” by Casting Crowns, we are reminded of the need to see people around us in this world, to see those who walk in the doors of our church buildings and reach out of our comfortable self focused state of mind and be the kind of humans God desire for us to be. The music video reveals the story of what many people face that have experienced and felt the glances, words, and actions of legalism within the church. There is a huge need to counsel people who have been hurt by the church. We all know there are no perfect churches because every church is full of imperfect people, but could we use the hurt and the evil for good? Could we learn from these common sins and mistakes by intentionally striving to see into the needs and hearts of everyone we meet? Will we be the kind of people who show others a positive view of the church and will we allow ourselves to overcome the hurt that has occurred within the church? Where sin abounds, Gods grace abounds more! God can use you to change someone’s wounded opinion… Will you be aware of first where your own heart is at, where it needs to change, and will you then be aware of the person next to you? Remember you may be the only Gospel a person ever sees or hears and the only love they have ever observed or feel…

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