Pastor Brian Gilroy,
High Prairie Church of the Nazarene
Pain and trauma exact a great toll upon a person. Betrayal, violation, jealousy and disappointment can imprison you on many levels. The dual nature of a “me first” and a “shame” culture leads to so much unnecessary hurt.
Where does one go to unpack the emotional and psychological baggage caused by others in the pursuit of their own gratification?
It all begins with the “grace” that God extends to everyone. The “grace” that allows us to exercise the “faith” to believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our intentional acts of sin and the “faith” to believe that “if we confess our sins [to God], He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9]
Where does one go to unpack the emotional and psychological baggage when the source of the hurt turns out to be a person in the Christian church? A person who claims to be right with God but the only time that is evident is in the public setting of a church service?
1 John 2:7-10 reminds us that if God has really changed a person then he or she will do what is right in the limelight and out of the limelight.
A true Christian is a 24/7 Christian and not an individual who will use the branding of “Christian” to satisfy his or her own agenda or needs.
If we go to a franchise location of any store and are treated with disrespect, then we have the option of never shopping at that location or store again. However, a few will go further and contact the head office of that store and explain what happened to hear the response of the company.
I implore you to do the same with any disappointment you have with a Christian or Christian Church. Go directly to God and examine his Word [the Bible] to see what a person with a truly restored and vibrant relationship with God is all about.
Grace is not about being able to take Communion, teach Christian education, be on a church board or accept other offices of leadership in the church. It is about being able to recapture the satisfying relationship that you were always meant to have but turned your back on by the life decisions you have made.
How do you unpack the emotional and psychological baggage that others have saddled you with? One hurt at a time. But never alone. God who loves you; whose very desire is to be in that restored and vibrant relationship with you – wants to heal the hurts that have hold of your life. He wants to replace the drugs, alcohol, bitterness, fear and other worldly methods of denial when it comes to that pain. He wants to restore your hope, peace, and joy.
It is a choice to hang on to the pain – a choice that often seems like the only one you have. The Bible says differently. God wants you to know that all the good works that others say will please God enough to get Him to accept you is untrue. All your righteous acts are as filthy rags. His “grace” is available because the death and resurrection of Jesus made it available to you free of charge – you only need to embrace it.
Jesus said that he was the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no comes to God the Father except through Him. A powerful claim backed up with historical evidence and an empty tomb, not just the words of a religious leader.
Who will you now trust – those who will use you and abuse you for their own gratification, or God, who desires to use His love to heal you and place you in the healthy relationship with Him that you were created to have?