Church is about people. And where's there's people, there's problems.
We fall out, we fall over, we annoy each other, we misunderstand each other – and sometimes we just hurt each other.
It shouldn’t happen, especially amongst the church of Jesus – but we're all on a journey TOWARDS perfection (this side of heaven we won't reach it – if you do, come and show me how you did it!) and on the road towards being more like Jesus, there's going to be a few bumps and scrapes along the way.
Now my prayer is that you avoid any pain. But just in-case you are on the receiving end of being hurt by a fellow Christian, the Bible is helpful in showing us how to deal with these situations.
The Corinthian church took their hurt to the law courts. Paul is clear that this is no way for fellow Christians to resolve hurt and disputes between each other – how can a non-believer judge matters between believers? It shouldn’t be the way we do it.
Also, Matthew 18, from verse 15 especially, Jesus gives a step-by-step guide to handling a situation where someone has wronged us; confront, take a friend, involve the church – and if all else fails – trust Jesus with the wrong.
That sounds easy – but, trusting Jesus with the pain that someone else has inflicted upon us? That seems unfair. And it is. But it's not the end of the story. You see, there's a story behind the story.
And that story starts with God, who Peter tells us 'called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps' (1 Peter 2:21).
God is calling us to follow Jesus' example. Because there's a prize. Peter started the previous verse off with this: 'But if you suffer for doing good, and endure it, God is pleased with you' (1 Peter 2:20).
The prize for enduring, the prize for leaving our hurt with God, the prize for forgiving, is favour with God. We all want favour. Maybe favor comes in ways we don't expect. Maybe today, that painful season can be a fruitful season. Trust God, endure the hurt, wait patiently. Favour is coming.
- How are you hurting today that might be a route towards God's favor in your life?
- What steps are you going to take today to make sure that hurt doesn’t turn into bitterness?
- What might block God's favour in your life?