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  • Writer's pictureMegan Fuller, Therapist @ Refuel Counseling

Have you been hurt by the church?

Church hurt can take on various forms. Because It has become a bit of a buzz word throughout the Christian community in recent years, it is something that needs to be talked about. So many people have been hurt by the words of a leader within the walls of a church. Others have been abused, lied to, cheated, and abandoned by people who claim to be believers. Oftentimes, people that have been hurt are not met with love, grace, or even compassion. Their stories tend to be ignored or even kept secret. Often, they feel like they have no one to talk to or no one to listen. Often this leads to bitterness, frustration, anger, and depression.

People who have been hurt by the church tend to question God and sometimes leave their faith behind. Friend, if any of this sounds familiar to you, I am here to tell you I am sorry this happened to you. If you are questioning or even angry with God, I am here to tell you that you will be met with grace, understanding, and a listening ear. God has compassion on those who are honest with Him. Even though the imperfect people who hurt you claim to know God, I am here to tell you that your negative experience is not the character of God. He is a God full of grace, compassion, and empathy. Let me tell you how He would respond if you ran to Him today.

How would He respond?

Jesus will meet you right where you are in your hurt. He would not impart judgment or condemnation. He would not paint a silver lining. He would show love, compassion, and empathy. How do I know this? Well, let me share a story with you. Mary and Martha were sisters that had just lost their brother Lazarus. They are hurting and a little bit angry that Jesus had not been there to heal Lazarus. What Jesus does next is pivotal and rarely gets noticed. He had the power right in that very moment to raise Lazarus back to life, as He does later in the story, but what did He do first? He sat with them. He affirmed their pain, and He wept with them. He empathized with them and only then did he perform a miracle. He took the time to patiently mourn with Mary and Martha. He intentionally acknowledged their emotions first. In the same way, God will meet with you in your hurt. Because He cares for you, He will listen, and He will empathize. Because He suffered the ultimate betrayal and hurt at the cross, He understands the pain and He promises healing grace.

Friend, I am sorry if this is not the kind of love you were shown by a fellow sister or brother in Christ. However, it is not too late. If you or someone you know has been hurt by the church and you need a safe space to process what has happened or even funnel through your emotions towards God, we are here to help. Reach out to us today. We will meet you with love and understanding. We are here to offer a helping hand through your healing journey.

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