Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. — 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
I don’t know where you are in your church walk and your church story. Maybe you recently started following Jesus and the church is still totally your jam. I’m so glad for you, but here’s some truth. Just like any relationship, you and the church will have rocky times. Just like any relationship, at some point the flawed humans who lead your church will disappoint you, and you will need to put 1 Corinthians 13 love into action.
You know why church is hard? Because of humans.
So. Many. Humans.
My local church recently went through something hard, and to be honest, my feelings were all over the place. I didn’t want to stay.
I once asked my friend Pastor Scott Sauls what happens when you stay in a church even when you are hurt or it seems hard. He said, “That’s when you grow up.”
Part of being a Christian is wrestling through Scripture and wrestling through relationships. If we unplug ourselves from the local church, we don’t even wrestle. We lose the opportunity to wrestle inside so that you love well outside. When we’re outside of our Christian community, we are called to love well. To outdo one another in kindness. To put others before ourselves. If we unplug from our church, we’re unplugging from our family of believers. Our support system.
Brave Christians get plugged in to their church. And brave people are willing to stay plugged in, even when things get hard.
Be Brave: is Sunday, go to church. If you don’t know a good one, call someone and ask. If you’ve been hurt, go back anyway — to the one you know or one you don’t. But step back through the doors and see what happens next.
Excerpted with permission from 100 Days to Brave by Annie Downs, copyright Annie F. Downs.
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If you haven’t been hurt by your church, or by church leaders, or by Christians, just give it time. We will all be hurt by each other. Because we’re human. It’s what you do next that matters. Come share your thoughts on our blog! We would love to hear from you about living through church hurt! ~ Devotionals Daily