Updated: Feb 26
When #Christianity is a hardship to or on an individual, something is wrong. Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [a]gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV).” To state that the Christian life is “hard” or being among the fellowship (church) is “hard,” then someone has accepted an ideology that contradicts the words of Jesus. We should come to Him and find rest for our souls. You may have the thought that “yes we can come to Jesus,” but things don’t feel the same around His people.
So, if one is transparent about the problem, then one will recognize that it is not Jesus that causes the issue(s), but it is the people of the church. I recognize that people get hurt at church. I also realize that “#church hurt” has become the incurable disease for some. They are chronically ill and live with “hurt” that is terminal. I do not write this with callousness or with the intention to belittle anyone. However, I recognize that many pastors and pastors’ families fall victim to the pain inflicted from others, but they keep showing up.
Much of the #hurt that is felt is due to the perception(s) of others or the thought of how others perceive them. Some feel left out and this causes hurt. Some feel that they are being leered at or degraded because of their past and this causes hurt. It’s the unnecessary roughness that is associated with the church and life.
Let’s look at the life of David. If anyone had to overcome obstacles, it was David. Samuel is called of God to find Israel’s next king among the sons of Jesse (1 Samuel 16:1). Seven of Jesse’s sons are presented before Samuel (1 Samuel 16:10). None of those men are the chosen man for the throne. Yet have you pondered this? All of David’s brothers (1 Samuel states seven plus David while 1 Chronicles states that David was the seventh, indicates that one of David’s brothers may have died) are brought before Samuel and David is not a mere thought! Not until Samuel inquires “ And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep (1 Samuel 16:11 NKJV).”
He’s just a shepherd, not thought of as a possible king. If anyone had a reason to be hurt, David could have. We do not know David’s feelings on the matter, but we see his struggles in Scripture. In Jewish tradition there is the thought that David might have been considered the “least” of the siblings. It is a speculation, but David said, “in sin did my mother conceive me (Psalm 51:5).” This is interpreted as meaning that David was the illegitimate son. This is not certain, but Psalm 51:5 gives evidence that David was not immune to the feelings of inferiority. The evidence is clear that David was not up for consideration until Samuel inquired “Are all the young men here?” The point is that David was overlooked by the people that were closest to him. Isn’t that where much of the “hurt” occurs?
Maybe you’re the least of these. Maybe life has taken its toll on you. Possibly you’ve made many mistakes over and over. The hurt that you have encountered has come from those closest to you. You must keep preserving no matter the feelings that attempt to overtake you. Jesus says come to Him. It’s meant to be that easy. Before David slayed Goliath or inherited the throne, he was chosen…..last from among his brothers. Don’t let your position in life lead you to believe that living for Jesus is hard. Hardship and trials cause one to trust Jesus and lean on their brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t stay away from the church because of a few that don’t accept you. Leave the bitterness for the church behind, Christ loves the church and gave His life for it (Ephesians 5:27-29). Before you slay your giant, you must overcome the #feelings from the people that overlooked you and have taken you for granted.
Dr. Brian Monehan