The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit? Proverbs 18:14 NKJV
There is a spirit of offense that runs rampant in churches causing deep hurt, broken relationships, and wounded spirits. Some church leaders have abused or neglected the sheep, and some sheep have also offended or disrespected others in the church. A wounded spirit can also be the result of your own sinful mistakes, or others committing a sin act against you, or because of a failed church leader. A broken spirit is a wounded spirit, and an unhealed gaping wound is the main source of church hurt.
What is church hurt? The hurt and pain experienced that leaves you so broken that you no longer want to be part of the church. You’re afraid that you will be hurt again if you return to church; so, you begin to question the place of the church in your life, and many choose to become unchurched (Heb. 12:15).
Caveat: being unchurched doesn’t mean that a hurt person is unsaved. The unchurched can be spiritual without being religious. So, what causes church hurt? This is the “$64,000,000 dollar” question—almost anything! For example, someone didn’t speak to you, or they looked at you the “wrong” way; being a victim of a sinful act that causes deep pain; legalistic preaching and teaching designed to control and dominate your life; the teaching of heresy; church splits; selfish ambitions; and of course, greed—that insatiable fleecing the sheep for money and more money.
How can a church hurt be healed? Let me offer you five measures to effect your healing: first, pray about your affliction (Jas. 5:13); second, forgive and judge not (Luke 6:36-38); Jn. 20:23); third, go to the trespasser and tell them that they have hurt you (Matt. 18:15-17); fourth, use your power to bind the pain and loose the hurt (Matt. 18:18); and, fifth, stand fast and be free in Christ (Gal. 5:1). Unforgiveness is not only a yoke of bondage, but it is also a bleeding wound. Take the rule over your own spirit and stop blaming somebody else for your hurt (Prov. 25:28). Whenever there is church hurt, you can choose to be a victor rather than a victim. Don’t be part of the conspiracy of allowing someone else to abuse their power against you while you deny yours. God has given you the power to be healed of your church hurt!