Somethings just shouldn’t have to be said. Emotions are running away from me today as I watch as people are judging their fellow humans on social media. I feel like I need to fast Facebook for a while, gain some renewed perspective. I am certain that move will be in the works as I am on vacation next week. However, here is my vice; someone has to speak up, right? Someone has to speak for the broken, cast aside crowd, who for whatever reason, have no voice.
Church hurt is real. I don’t care what organization or religious background you come from, someone has said or done something along the line that has offended you. At some point the place you go to for refuge has failed to provide sanctuary. For some people, the offense was minor and did not create a stumbling block. For others, who have not been so lucky, the offense or offenses were so hurtful they have come to reject religion all together. Some have turned to drugs, alcohol or self-harm for relief, while others have allowed the offenses to make them bitter. Some have sat on the church pew and grown empty inside, while waiting for someone to come along and show they care. Some have gotten past the grief and allowed it to make them better.
Racism is real. Judgement is real. Jealousy and strife are real. Backbiting, gossip and cynicism are very real. Each is sin and each cause very real hurt and consequences for the soul on the receiving end.
The journey to get past the hurt is real as well. Real, just as it is long and sometimes bumpy. Just as it feels as if the wound just starts to heal, and something happens and rips the scab right off again exposing the fresh hurt. If you are watching someone struggle, why would you dish out more of the same hurts that caused the wound to begin with?
But yet you see it, time and time again, the church on the defense. I have heard things like: “Well, no church is perfect.” “If you are offended, you just need to pray through.” “If you were near to the Lord to begin with, something like that wouldn’t offend you”. Somehow, if you are the one who has been hurt, the pain turns into your fault.
These things have been said to me, as well as several people I know. Not only are they unproductive, they are ripping off the scab, not putting salve on the wound. People are entitled to their own feelings and if something is not offensive to you, that doesn’t discount other people’s viewpoints on the subject.
Love is the only way to heal. Whether you claim to be a Christian, or human in general, I fail to see how responding in love ever harmed a situation.
Respect the other person’s viewpoints whether different or the same as your own, and show love in your responses even if you think the other human is being ridiculous in their opinion. You don’t know what hurts they have experienced along their life journey.
I refuse to allow the judgmental, holier-than-thou, off the cuff posts, texts and behavior I have witnessed not only this week, but in the recent past make me judgy of their judginess. I refuse to respond in any way less than love.
My experiences are real. Other’s experiences are real. Do everyone a favor and respond with understanding, love and kindness. Maybe, just maybe we stop the cycle of church hurt in our own little world.
Micah 6:8 What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?