Dealing with hurt in church

Straight Talk

The Question

How do you deal with church members who act funny with you? What do you pray about? They over-look you and act as if they don’t want to be bothered with you. Personally, it bothers me. Should it?

CW from City Unknown

The Answer
Part 1: Growing through hurt

Growing through hurt (Part 1)

It’s always nice to say something shouldn’t bother us but the truth is that how other people treat us brings either joy or hurt. A church is a place where our expectations to be treated well are high; after all, these are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. But people are human. Whether you know it or not, somewhere along the line you probably hurt someone too. No, not intentionally but it happens to the best of us.

Since it is going to happen, what should you do about it? I have no way of knowing what is actually going on in this situation but I can tell you that there are a couple of choices. I’ll handle the hard one first but it means you must be ready to examine yourself closely and honestly.

Question for you: are you being over sensitive? If it is true, are you willing to hear the truth and are you willing to deal with your own issues? Some people go from church to church until someone hurts them (and that always happens eventually) and then they carry that woundedness to the next church where it happens all over again.

I’m not saying that is you-I don’t know. However YOU are the only one you have control over so it would be good to consider whether you offend too easily. I’d like to share a portion of Rick Joyner’s Word for the Week which was just sent to me. He says in part:

“No one is likely to experience real church life without times of hurt, disappointment, or rejection. Those who overcome these by growing in love, patience, forgiveness, etc., can make huge strides forward in their spiritual lives. Those who allow hurt, frustrations, or disappointments to dictate their courses will likely go from defeat to defeat, shipwreck to shipwreck, until they resolve to be overcomers instead of being overcome by these things.” I think he is right on.

Secondly, my suggestion to you is that you continue to reach out and be friendly. You might even pull one of these people aside and say something like; “Have I offended you in any way? You seemed to be a little cooler to me and I want to make sure everything is okay.” Directness and even honest disagreement are better than silence or coldness left unattended.

As far as how to pray, pray blessing over every person and extend your love and good will. Remember the words from 1 Corinthians 13; “(love) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.”

Both you and the other church members now have a chance to grow in love. Take that chance!