We spend a lot of time as a church making excuses for church hurt and how people within the church treat one another. We say “Hurt people hurt people”. As I was listening to some messages this weekend that all talked about how hurt we are, I thought maybe it’s time to change the narrative. In a society where we are trying to educate people about the truths that got us here and reframe how people see certain groups and treat one another, what if we spoke from a higher place? A place of our future versus our present and past? What if instead of focusing on how hurt people are bound to hurt others we spoke into existence the truth many of us are blessed to see when we start surrounding ourselves with people who are tired of being victims and are ready to overcome, when we surround ourselves with people ready to be more and do more by accepting their identity and then walking in it by utilizing their strengths instead of capitalizing on what makes them stuck? What if we started a new mantra that brings about change and encourages a new outlook? “Free people free people.”
Paul and Silas sang out of joy WHILE in prison and because of it people were freed. When we see someone at church who has TRULY overcome addiction and no longer lives as a victim to an illness but an overcomer of a disease, we see other addicts begin to become free. When we see someone who beat stage 4b cancer praise and dance and live her live fully instead of sitting down and dying, we see others who receive the diagnosis believe they too can beat it. When we see people who say, “I never felt a need to test God’s love for me so I stayed faithful, but I did still have struggles even if not ones that required radical transformation”, others who have led good lives realize the freedom found through Christ is like none other.
Let’s stop using our past as an excuse to hurt others and start using our present and future truths to start encouraging and helping one another. Yes, hurt people hurt people but after sitting in the presence of God for some time, change should occur. If it doesn’t, something is wrong. Not a single person Jesus encountered remained the same. Each one changed in some way. Most for the better, some not so much (thinking of Judas, the rich man, and political figures), but each person He encountered changed in some way.
If you’re in a church that is allowing people to hurt you just because they have been hurt, I challenge you to change the narrative. Talk with your pastor about what you can do to initiate ministries and events that will help people become free from the chains that allow them to continue in this addictions, continue in their sin, continue in their current state. Grace AND truth are required for full Christian living and growth. People without church in their life grow and so should those within the church. Start moving from glory to glory instead of hurt to hurt.
Until next time, ~Shell