A few years ago I was talking to a wife of a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. I asked her what church they were a part of, and she said she was attending church alone. I then asked her why her husband was no longer going with her, and she replied sadly, “Well, he got hurt and quit and said he’s not going back.”
How many of us have heard this reason for why so many of our friends and family quit church and vow to never return? Maybe you’ve got a friend and her story is: She got hurt over a rumor or a statement from the pastor’s message. She got OFFENDED and now blames every church for what happened and has banned all future church attendance from her life.
It is as upsetting as it is sad that people will walk away from Godly calling, purpose, community, mission, worship and so much more over getting hurt or offended. When people walk away from His church, they may not recognize it, but they are also walking away from Jesus. People who believe that they can live for Christ and have nothing to do with His Church are deceived and don’t understand the words of Jesus or the writings of the apostles.
Before you think I’m out of touch with what happens to people at church, let me tell you this: I get hurt by people at church pretty often. As a pastor, if I had quit over getting hurt or offended by people, I would have quit over 25 years ago.
Instead I had to make a decision that I believe every faithful disciple of Christ must make. I decided that my walk with Christ and my faithfulness to His church would not be dependent upon people. I decided to look to and serve Jesus regardless of how people may behave. My serving, giving, worship, attendance, etc. to his church is because I follow and love him. Think about this: What does my relationship with Jesus and obedience to be part of his church have to do with what a few people along the way may do to upset or offend me? For me, it’s zero.
So yes, I may get hurt and offended by people fairly often, but I live for Jesus and there’s nothing anyone can do to make me walk away from His plan and will for my life.
Let me let you in on something — if it hasn’t happened already, someone from your church will eventually offend you, and it will hurt. It happens to all of us; just don’t fall for the trap of hurt or offense of the enemy by walking away and never coming back. Your calling and your life in Christ is much too important.