I have seen a meme floating around my social media for some time. It says, “If you left church because someone hurt you, you were there for people, not God,” or something to that effect. Every time I see it, I think, obviously this was posted by someone who has never been hurt by people at church.
Getting hurt by a fellow “brother or sister” can be devastating. Betrayal hurts, whether you are a church-goer or not. And being hurt by people who are supposed to take a very active role in NOT hurting is even worse.
When your “safe place” turns into a gossip fest or a rejection party, it’s crushing. Soul crushing. When you lose not only the “friends” you had at church, but also by extension, your place of worship and house of prayer, life can feel confusing and lonely.
When this happens, I have seen- and yes, I have done so myself- people turn away from the organized religion: the show-up-on-Sunday-and-act-like-you’re-not-a-sinner performance. They instead turn to God. They pray those deep, desperate prayers that people pray when they are facing unbearable circumstances. They read their Bible, searching for peace, comfort, and perhaps justice. And, they usually come to find what they are looking for, and more.
They discover a real relationship with the One who will not betray. They discover that beautiful sweetness that only comes with bitter sorrow. They discover that the ‘church’ is the body of believers all over the world, and also a community of local believers; not just a building, and not just one clique of so-called believers who act like the disruptive ‘busybodies’ Paul warns us about in 2 Thes. 3:11.
They discover that their trial was not about them, or even a weird happening (1 Peter 4:12), but rather a blessing in disguise, a trial that is bringing them, if they will allow it, closer to Christ (1 Peter 4:13).
Perhaps the meme should read, “If you left church because someone there hurt you, rejoice! You are learning how to need only God!”
Photo credit: Google images
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
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