"I Was Hurt"

April 29, 2022
Hello Church Family: So, I was invited to attend a class at UNCW yesterday. During the class the topic of church came up and was discussed. Several of the college students gave their brief history of their church experience. Guess what the majority reason given by the students for not being part of a church today? Their words were consistently, “I was hurt by the church.” That is all the information given due to time and discussion of the class main topic. But as I sat there thinking about the primary reason why some of the students, who once were a part of a local body of Christ, are now not a part of the body of Christ was specifically because somebody had “hurt them.” What had happened? Was it something somebody said? Was it a disagreement over doctrine? Was it personality conflict? Was it a confrontation over sin? Was it political? I will never know. I most likely will never see any of the students ever again. However, I will see you this Sunday and there is a possibility that someone in the GCT body of Christ will hurt you. Or, maybe I will/have hurt you? Or, maybe someone has already hurt you at GCT? What will you do? Who from GCT will end up far from the Lord and His Church because somebody “hurt them?”

This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night. What are you called to do as the one who has been hurt in the body of Christ? (I am specifically talking here about "church hurt" not malicious abuse.) You know that you do have a responsibility in the matter? Your responsibility is to seek reconciliation. Why? Because Jesus Christ has reconciled you while you were an ongoing offense to Him. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest example the world has ever seen of someone reaching out and making Himself completely vulnerable to achieve reconciliation (Col. 1:19-22). Seeking reconciliation is living out the gospel. If we don’t seek reconciliation through living out the gospel, the church would be empty within two years because we will have eventually offended each other totally. We must overcome our natural inhibitions to run away or clam up or fight back.

As you consider living out reconciliation, follow the guidance of Romans 12:9-21. Here are a few that guide my relationships daily:
1- I must love the person who has hurt me
2- I must hold fast to the good of the person who hurt me
3- I must love the person who hurt me like a brother
4- I must outdo the person who hurt me in showing them honor
5- I must be patient with the person who hurt me as they cause tribulation in my life
6- I must bless the person who hurt me
7- I must rejoice with the person who hurt me
8- I must weep with the person who hurt me
9- I must do everything that I possibly can to live in harmony with the person who hurt me
10- I must never think that I am wiser than the person who hurt me
11- I must never repay the person who hurt me with evil
12- I must think about how to show the person who hurt me more honor than what they show me
13- I must never avenge the person who hurt me but leave that to God
14- I must never be overcome by any evil that comes from the person who hurt me but overcome that evil with doing good to them

Please, do not let hurt drive you away from the Lord. Who do you need to seek reconciliation with? If God puts someone on your heart, go today, don’t delay, asking God to give you the same kind of obedience and love that moved Jesus to come into this world to secure your reconciliation with our Father in heaven (Romans 5:8).

See you Sunday, reconciled to the Father, Steve

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