I recently had a 15 year old come to me crying. She got hurt by someone who was a “Christian”. She looked at me with sad eyes and said something we all have felt…
“It hurts worse that I was wronged by a Christian.”
Whether you yourself are a Christian or not…it hurts to be hurt by the same people who supposedly preach “love your neighbor”. When you’re hurt by a Christian you have every right to be frustrated, confused, and aggravated by their hypocrisy.
You’ve probably felt that way before too. I mean you did click on this article… I have felt this way a bizzillion times…sadly “Christians” wrong us no matter what age we are. And that feeling SUCKS. No good way to put it.
I’ll never forget the moment I heard a pastor made a mistake…it hurt. How could someone we admire so much make a mistake…didn’t He have Jesus?
I’ll never forget the middle school me who was upset because the same kids who attended my church left me out and weren’t nice… not a fun feeling.
I’ll never forget going to a “Christian” college and Christianity seemed more like a fashion statement with overalls and hair scarves than it did a life of love. The same Christians were the ones who made me feel judged…not loved.
And then there’s you.
If you clicked on this article chances are you have a unique story of being hurt by Christians. Maybe it relates to judgement or betrayal. Maybe it relates to something deeper than those hurts… whatever it is I want to start off by saying I see you. You deserve to be heard. You are loved by Jesus. And any person that is telling you you are disgusting, unforgivable, not worthy, not wanted, or not enough… is not someone reflecting Jesus’s love for you.
I don’t care if they went to seminary for years or if everyone in their church congregation thinks they are perfect. If they are hurting you, that’s not from Jesus. Don’t let their sin define your worth. Jesus didn’t die for you and conquer the grave for you to allow someone else’s sin to name you…You are loved, forgiven, and wanted by Jesus.
So to the nonbeliever who has been hurt by a Christian: I’m sorry. What you experienced was human brokenness, not Jesus. Jesus isn’t a bully. Jesus isn’t someone who mocks others. Jesus was mocked. He hung out with unwanted. He talked to the woman shamed in her town. He sat and ate dinner with the same people the “religious” people mocked. Jesus will never make you feel anything that is not love. Love doesn’t mean He is always going to agree with you, but love means He’s going to always invite you and want you. Give Jesus another chance. Walk back into church and talk to God before you do. Pray for Him to show you Christians who reflect His love. I promise Jesus will never let you down. Some Christians may let you down… but there are Christians out there who follow Jesus whole heartedly and are worthy of trust. Learn to trust again. But trust Jesus first and more. Start by praying.
To the believer hurt by another believer: Here’s the deal: you’ve been hurt. You deserve a cry or a scream. You deserve to be upset. You can express your emotions and release the feelings you feel. Do this. Do this in a safe space though and not at lunch with the girls or boys. Do this to one person. But after that do this.. Remind yourself — Jesus. Jesus was betrayed. Jesus was hurt. But Jesus told you that if you’ve been hurt to “turn the other cheek”. Notice He didn’t say “expect karma to come”, or “you’ll show him up one day”. He said to turn the other check. After you’ve been slapped on one check Jesus wants you to show the same “hypocrite” your other cheek. Someone once told me “There’s nothing worse in this world than being the person who gets walked on.” Honestly, I disagree. I desire to live a life of love. I desire to live a life that reflects Jesus. Chances are that means I’m gonna get walked on occasionally, and I pray after those moments I love them anyways.
Loving them doesn’t mean I have to trust them. But loving them means I’m still vulnerable enough to be let down and walked on again. What’s worse than getting walked on you ask? Living a life that isn’t reflecting Jesus. There’s nothing worse in this world than getting to the end and standing before Jesus and saying “I could’ve loved more”. So let’s be Christians who are more scared of a life that doesn’t love well than a life that gets walked on. You’ll never regret choosing love but you will always regret choosing revenge.
I hope you know I prayed for you as you read this. You read this for a reason. I pray Jesus gives you hope when you’re overwhelmed by hurt. I pray He places people worthy of your trust in your life. And I pray that despite the hurt you’ve felt you recognize that Jesus is not one who brings pain. He is not the one who is inconsistent. He stands for truth and lives out love. He wants you. Don’t allow someone’s sin to distract you from His goodness.
Scripture to read: Matthew 5:38-40, 1 John 4:8
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