• Hurt By the Church? How to Begin Healing

    You can get hurt in any type of community. Put a bunch of people into a group and both incredible and unfortunate things can happen. Everyone you know has a story or two about work, their family, school, and so on. Misunderstandings, betrayals, and more can also occur at your church. It’s not easy to accept but some people will take advantage of those with whom they worship.

    Church hurt is difficult to deal with and often tough to heal. But, rest assured, you can recover with your faith and your optimism intact. Let’s explore some of the avenues toward healing from church hurt.

    7 Ways To Begin Healing When You’re Been Hurt By the Church

    1. Accept What Has Happened to You

    There is a hierarchy at the church. If someone in power has exploited that power, you have every right to identify it as abuse. There are many forms of abuse. It is crucial that you name what was done to you and deal with it as directly as possible.

    You may feel uncomfortable confronting another person — especially if they are seen as a church leader. But, in the interest of everything else at the church, it’s essential to hold the abuser accountable.

    2. Assign Blame Mindfully

    As #1 above suggests, it is important to have your abuser face consequences. However, except on rare occasions, this does not mean you are seeking revenge on the church itself. Humans make unfortunate choices. It does not mean that the entire institution is corrupt. Talk with trusted friends. Talk with church elders. Gather evidence and take appropriate action.

    3. Be Patient With Yourself

    No one, no matter where they rank in the church, can set an agenda for your healing. This is your process and you do not have to live up to anyone else’s expectations. Each of us heals at our own rate.

    4. Create a Support System

    Of course, your support will start with your faith and prayer. It can be further facilitated by asking for help from those you trust most. Such people can:

    • Give you someone to confide in
    • Offer guidance and advice
    • Simply listen when you need to speak your mind

    5. Forgive

    This shall serve as a giant step toward healing. You do not want to need to hold resentment in your heart. Forgiving the transgressor is a powerful step. Remember, forgiving someone does not mean you condone their actions. It also does not mean you and they will return to a previous state. Forgiveness is a form of release and closure. It gives you the endurance to move forward stronger and wiser.

    6. Do Not Seek Revenge/Do Not Become Bitter

    It can be quite painful to experience church hurt. Even after such an experience, there is no value in holding on to it. The abuser is held accountable and offers an apology. You are validated and can therefore offer forgiveness. From there, the path is all about love. Live a life guided by love. Lead by example — but keep your guard up.

    7. Reclaim Your Spiritual Power

    You may feel hesitant to return to old practices in the church. You may experience uncomfortable memories. Hence, your emotional recovery is your priority as you inch your way back into your power and your practices. Lean on your support system — relying on people from both inside and outside the church. As you step back into your strength, you may find you have grown and evolved despite the hardship.

    Let’s Talk

    It can go a long way to speak with a Christian Therapist. If church hurt has you feeling vexed, let’s connect for a free and confidential consultation.