4 Principles In Overcoming Church Hurt
Take It To God In Prayer
When a pastor or a church leader or member hurts you, the first thing you need to do is to take it to God in prayer.
Do you remember the old hymn written by Joseph Scriven in 1855 called “What a friend we have in Jesus?
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
No matter what kind of hurt you’re dealing with, don’t rush into a confrontation with the offender. Take it to God in prayer.
Psalm 50:15 says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble.” That means that you can call upon God not only when outside troubles bother you but also when your heart is troubled.
Tell Him how you feel and ask Him to heal your wounds. It may be that the Lord is going to deal with the offender directly and anything you say would just make matters worse.
Take your pain and grief to Jesus. He is the one who heals the brokenhearted.
It may also be that God wants to work on the inside of you first before you go to confront your brother or sister.
Maybe He wants to give you gracious words to speak instead of words of pain.
Maybe He wants to work in you a spirit of humility before working on them through you.
Whatever it may be, the first step must be taking it to the Lord in prayer.
Resist The Urge To Retaliate
Whatever you do, resist the urge to retaliate. It will only make matters worse.
The sermon on the mount is probably the most famous sermon ever given on planet earth. In that sermon Jesus said these words.
38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
With that in mind, do not cause offenses to increase by going around telling other people why you got hurt.
As much as you might be tempted to gather around supporters for your cause, it only causes people to take on the offense that was given to you. In a way you are causing them church hurt.
It is a form of passive retaliation to cause people to take sides and lay blame on the people who have hurt you.
If you do decide to confront the person who has hurt you, instead of saying “You hurt my feelings.” Use this approach instead. “When you did this, I felt hurt” or When you talk to me in a certain way, I feel upset.”
Take ownership of your feelings. They are after all, your feelings. It’s very possible that your offender has no idea that what they said or did hurt you—and never meant to hurt you.
If you approach them in humility seeking reconciliation, your offender may be quick to apologize.