by Mary Stout
I have a confession to make. I think I belong to a select few people who have been “fired” from serving the Lord at a church. When it happened I felt hurt. It was not the actual firing that made me upset. It was the lack of communication explaining things that really hurt. I contemplated finding another church at the time. I built up all kind of scenarios in my head as to why I should go. They don’t like me. I am not good enough. They think I don’t measure up. My thoughts invaded me and colored how I saw things and who I thought liked me. I finally had a decision to make. I could follow my previous ways and leave, find another church and start over or I could stay and allow God to heal me.
I bet some of you struggle with being hurt by church, too. It could be someone spoke to you the wrong way or didn’t speak to you at all. Maybe you were told you were not needed when you volunteered for something that you really loved. Maybe you don’t see eye-to-eye with someone. You have had those thoughts of leaving or just taking a break from church. What if God is ushering you into a new period of healing and growing? Here are a couple of tips to help you overcome. Remember in Romans we find all things work together for good for those who are in the Lord. Good or bad, pain or joy, hurt or healing.
The first thing I did was pray for guidance. I asked God to show me how I needed to change my ways to focus on His glory and not others around me. Jesus wants us to come to him.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)
Study the Word
Next I read the Word. Now if you are like me you open your Bible and think where in the world do I find this. Google is your best friend. Just look up verses on Google and you will find God will guide you to what you need. The Lord helped me see how my thoughts about church, people, and things needed to change. Instead of being so judgmental to myself and others Jesus wanted me to:
Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently. (Romans 14:1 MSG)
I realized that no matter the situation I don’t have to have the answers. God does. I am called to be the light and show others grace and mercy as Jesus did. Life runs well when you place your burdens in his hands and listen to his answer. I used to complain and whine and feel bad. Now I just pray, listen and give him the glory in my life. Be the Light and show His Glory.
Prayer: Father thank you for listening to me and showing me the way to live through the struggles I may have. Help me to be as patient with others in the church as you are with me. May I be your light and shine your glory in every situation. In Jesus name, Amen.