You may experience hurt from:
✓ Manmade denominations and doctrines
✓ Religious and traditional systems that are false representations of the
However, the church itself did not hurt you. Even though I just shared my testimony in a previous chapter regarding church hurt, the church itself did not hurt me. Your experience happened to be at church, and I truly sympathize and apologize for your experience. I truly regret it occurred and I decree this manual delivers and heals you. I do, however, want to speak truth that despite your situation and my experiences occurring in a church or with church people, the church itself did not hurt either of us. Let me say that again, “your experience occurred in church, but the church itself did not hurt you.”
In fairness, when we are hurt on the job we do not call it "job hurt." When a family member hurts you, you do not label it "family hurt." You do not stop working and never return to work because you encounter challenges on a job. You do not ostracize your entire family because a few people in the family hurt you. We do not throw away entire systems or do away with entire systems when we are hurt in other areas of life. We, therefore, must stop doing this with the church. Especially since God’s church is not a building, it is not a select group of people, it is not a particular ministry. God’s church is the body of Christ. We are all his church. I do want to state that in these systems many of the people are not saved, so we do not hold them to the same standard as we would the church, and rightfully so. When we accept Jesus as our personal savior and begin to walk in relationship with him, we are committing to be better people, make better choices, and care for and protect the hearts of one another. We therefore, have to stop making excuses for our inappropriate behavior in the church and implement standards, tools, and strategies to change our interactions and climate where we are becoming the bible we say we believe.
Church hurt can be the worst kind of hurt for several reasons:
✓ You are trying to process how a Godly leader or person in church can hurt you.
✓ You are trying to process how a place that is supposed to protect and
empower you can harm you.
✓ You are trying to process how others can still follow that leader or attend
that church, while knowing you have been hurt.
✓ You are trying to process why God has not revealed to the people that
you have been hurt by a leader or person, or why they have not discerned your pain.
✓ You are trying to process how the leader or person can hurt you and still
be used of God to do mighty acts.
✓ You are trying to process how a leader or person from a church can hurt
you and still be blessed, even as the ministry continues to advance.
✓ You are trying to process how the leader or person can hurt you and can
call everyone else out on their sin but have no conviction for their actions towards you.
✓ You are trying to process how that leader or person can study and seek
God for mighty revelation, yet receive no insight on their actions towards you.
✓ You are trying to process how everyone else appears to be getting what
they need from that leader or church but you only received pain.
These checkpoints are what I would label as “friendly fire.” Friendly fire is defined as a weapon firing from one’s own camp that causes injury or death. We expect the demons to hurt us, wicked people to hurt us, people who hate God and his word to hurt us, but we do not expect those within our own camp to harm us. We deem ministries to be our heaven on earth. They are our safe havens for being protected by the presence and power of God. The saints are our friends, our allies, our partners, and supports who help us to take the kingdom by force. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we never expect to get hurt by those on our team. When this happens, we demand a logical explanation, but because it is within the church, and we do not expect church hurt to happen, any explanation tends to be viewed as illogical and unacceptable.
As I explored the concept of church hurt, I would have to contend that challenges within the church are inevitable. We will experience them. We are imperfect people seeking to be perfected by a perfect God. God does not promise us that we will not have challenges and trials within the church. He does expect us to be transformed by his presence, standards, strategies, and guidance so as we are SHIFTING in our transformation, we should be more loving, considerate, honoring, empowering, and unified with one another. When SHIFTING from level to level and glory to glory in and with him, God also provides us with wisdom and guidance regarding how to handle conflicts and trials. I, therefore, would first like to dismantle the myth and mindset that church hurt should not happen. It will occur. We, however, need to be trained and equipped in how to handle it. How to care for one another's emotions, hearts, souls, and identities, such that we SHIFT into the perfect church that God is in pursuit of.
Decreeing personal and ministerial transformation such that God's church and body begins to looks like him. SHIFT!
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