You’ve Been Hurt

Wounds From Those Closest To Us Hurt The Worst.

The Church Is Not A Building, It's You & Me.

 

A Message From The Director

When I was 14 years old, my church fired my youth pastor while he was in the hospital! I didn't go to church again throughout high school and the first years of college, five years total.

"The church is full of hypocrites," I used to say to anyone who asked. Oddly, I never stopped reading the Bible or praying on my own. I never stopped loving God and always pursued Him hard. I just didn't go to church. I felt I could worship Him by myself.

But then, in my second year of college, God spoke clearly to my spirit and essentially told me, "Bryan, you don't go to church for other people, you go for Me."

I obeyed His call and began visiting and then attending church again. Since then, I've become much more aware of what the Bible teaches about worshipping together as believers:

"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His [Jesus] return is drawing near." (Hebrews 10:25, NLT)

Of course, since college, I've been hurt again by people in the church, several times so seriously it even caused me to have to pause ministry for a time. Yet, our expectation should never be that we won't be hurt, because the church is full of imperfect people - just like you and me.

As Senior Pastor Kevin Myers of 12Stone Church says, "If you find the perfect church, don't attend because you'll mess it up!"

What you need to remember is that the Church is not a building or a group of self-righteous strangers. If you are a follower of Christ, then you are part of the Church, a group of spiritual brothers and sisters. As imperfect people being developed over time by their Savior, these brothers and sisters love each other, but they also from time to time hurt each other.

When I was a kid, my mother had a black cat named Fluffy that I tried to give a bath in a kiddie pool. He never forgave me no matter what good I tried to do. We can often be like that cat.

When a Christian hurts us deeply, we never forget. And we can let that hurt fester and begin to paint our image of the entire church.

I have known and worked with thousands of loving Christians over the years from all walks of life, from all races and many countries, and from many denominations. In general, these men and women who follow Christ are easily the most caring, self-sacrificing people you will ever know, because they are filled with the Spirit of Christ. Among these thousands, are just five Christians who have hurt me.

Yet, for some reason, I very easily remember that handful and what they did to me much more than the thousands who I've watched love so well. We tend to remember the negative much more easily than we do the positive.

I encourage you to remember that you are already part of the Church. I urge you to consider becoming fully united to Christ by being united to His people, His Body.

If you do, will you be hurt again? I'm sure you will, but He can also heal and open your eyes to the rest of the amazing, loving things His Body is doing that far eclipse the hurts.

Sincerely,

Bryan Mason
Executive Director
Path2Hope

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