Stabbed In The Back

In the course of the last few days, I have heard story after story about how a church misrepresented themselves or how church leadership became abusive.

Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I have not spoken to any of these churches or their leadership.  I have no relationship with them.  I am also the first to admit that there are two or more sides to every story.  But this isn't a church bashing or people bashing blog.

This is a blog from a pastor who has been stabbed in the back too.   It happens.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

What do you do and how do you recover? 

Agree to disagree, but don't give yourself permission to become bitter.  I know it's personal.  I know that it hurts.  I know it isn't fair.  But whatever you crave you will entitle yourself too.  If you crave revenge and anger, you will get it.  

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Don't allow this to become personal. 

In other words, you will reap what you sow, and you will get more than you sow.  If you sow bitterness, then that's what you will get in return.  

Crave grace over revenge.  Crave mercy over anger.  These things will bring joy and a blessing to your home.  

Forgive them.  Hey, you had to see that one coming. 

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Is your desire to get even worth your salvation.  NO!  In the words of the great philosopher Elsa, "Let it go!  Let it go!"  

The process of letting go isn't easy.  It may require you going back and apologizing for something you said or thought.  Forgiving someone doesn't mean that you agree with them, it means that you are not going to hold this over their head anymore.  If Jesus can forget what you've done, then you who are created in the image of God can too.  

Let me put it this way.  Stop renting space in your heart to someone who has offended you.  That space belongs to Jesus.

Pray about what you do next.  

Most people shop for churches like they shop for shoes.  Keep trying until you find the right one.  Here's a thought.  Ask Jesus where you're supposed to be.  He calls pastors, evangelists, and missionaries.  Why can't He call you too?  

Quit asking why

This is the one that drives people crazy.  Especially if you had a long time relationship with the church and/or its leadership.  All I can say is, "I don't know."  Will, you ever know?  Maybe but it will take some time.  Time you don't have to waste.  So move on and submit your heart to the Holy Spirit's leading and guidance.  He will get you and your family through this.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.  AMEN  

NOTE:  Still working on getting my personal schedule to work correctly.  Sorry about not blogging yesterday.  

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