Church Hurt: A Piece by First Lady Alicia Courtney

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Church hurt is something we see far too often in our society; a common phrase we hear about in our congregations, communities, and even in our own homes. So what is this church hurt we hear so much about?

Church hurt is the sadness, frustration, or devastation one experiences during their involvement in activities among a body of believers. Many have become actively involved in a church only to be driven away by the cruel actions or words of another Christian Brother or Sister.

We are taught to see church as a safe haven and when we enter the doors the last thing we expect is to be hurt. After all, we go there for encouragement, support, fellowship, and spiritual growth. We don’t go there for someone to judge us based on our past, or by what we are wearing. This repetitive negative feedback eventually leads to the decision to stay away from the church because of hurt feelings.

However, we must remember that all of us were born in sin, even from conception (Psalm 51:5) – even those who seem to have it all together. Yes, even the Bishop, Pastor, Deacon, and Choir Member was born a sinner. Furthermore, everyone in the church does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. This relationship and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what allows us to demonstrate God’s love to others. If we haven’t accepted Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Savior, it will be difficult for us to treat others with love and respect even if we do attend church every Sunday.

As Christians it is imperative that we always treat each other with love. Jesus was the greatest example of this when he told the woman caught in the act of adultery to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NLT). Jesus did not ridicule her or pick up stones and join in with the mob about to stone her to death. Similarly, today we must not stone others who have erred but correct them in love.

Not only must we know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we must also learn forgiveness. We have all, at one time or another, been hurt by someone. We’ve been hurt by family, friends, significant others, co-workers. If we do not practice forgiveness daily, we carry this baggage with us and in turn hurt others. You’ve heard the term, “hurt people hurt people”. Those who have hurt us do so because someone did the same to them and they never underwent the process of forgiving and letting go.

Church members are no exception to the rule. Many in the church are hurting, and as a result, tend to hurt their Christian Brothers and Sisters.

Ultimately, we must all work together to do away with the church hurt so many of us experience daily. We do this by accepting Jesus into our hearts and by practicing forgiveness.

We are the Body of Christ and we all must work together.

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