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Have you been hurt in church? What are you supposed to do? How do you handle it? Leave the church? Confront the issue? Bury it? I wrote an article some years ago called “Overcoming Hurt Feelings God’s Way.” It gets so many reads, and it's such a short article. I decided to expound on the concept of church hurt in this Q&A session.

When people are hurt by a church or church member, how can this conflict be resolved?

First, you have to pray. It may be that the Lord is going to deal with them directly and anything you say would just make matters worse.

But pray, and see if the Lord can give you a graceful way to explain how you feel. It’s important that you don’t make accusations against those who hurt you. Use terms like, when you did this I felt like this… or when you say this, I feel like that.

But pray, and see if the Lord can give you a graceful way to explain how you feel. It’s important that you don’t make accusations against those who hurt you. Use terms like, when you did this I felt like this… or when you say this, I feel like that.

Many times, people don’t even realize that they’ve hurt you and would be quick to apologize if they did. But remember, love covers. It’s not always necessary to go to someone who hurt you every time they do something you don’t like.

It could be that the Lord is working something out in us. Maybe we’re too sensitive.

We always need to check our hearts. Is the person really being hurtful or are we looking at it through filters of past hurts or rejection or anger that cloud the truth? Ask the Lord.

I’ve had pastors apologize to me.

What advice would you give to a church member who feels wronged?

Again, always take it to the Lord first. You’ve got to forgive. Forgiveness is not for the other person—it’s for you. Forgiveness doesn’t justify what someone did that was wrong, nor does it necessarily mean that the relationship goes right back to where it was.

If you don’t forgive, you end up bitter and resentful and before too long you’ll end up hurting other people.

As a person who works in ministries, is there anything churches and ministries can do to guard against such “hurts” happening?

Jesus gave us the Golden Rule in the Sermon on the Mount. Treat others the way you would have them treat you.

We’re all super busy these days and most people want more from pastors or even brothers and sisters in Christ than they can possibly offer. We need to walk in love to the best of our ability, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and if we sense that there has been an offense we should be proactive about reaching out to correct it.

Some hurts are imaginary and some hurts are real. Either way, as leaders in the church you’re shepherding souls and it’s your responsibility to take good care of the people God has put in your hands.

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  1. Overcoming Hurt Feelings God’s Way – Awakening Magazine - […] Click here to read another article on this topic, entitled What to Do When You Get Hurt in Church.…

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