Have you been hurt? Take this study to learn how to deal with pain so that bitterness doesn’t take root.
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Step 5: Be willing to plant stakes in the ground
When we recognize there has been hurt in our church, we must be willing to take a stand to say what will be different from this day forward. So often we experience hurt within the church walls and we retreat for awhile, only to return to find a new vision or a new program. A “forgetting what is behind” attitude can spring up without ever acknowledging why we got to the hurtful point we did.
If there is one thing we have learned throughout history it is that history repeats itself. The struggles with pride and accountability, tending the seeds of our heart, and not recognizing our enemy, are all day-to-day struggles. We will not mature and move ahead in our journey with God as a church unless we recognize where we have been in hurting times and plant some stakes to serve as markers to check us when we begin to spiral into the same patterns. Ask yourself:
“Am I willing to acknowledge my part and take steps to prevent a repeat?”
When conflict threatens your heart and your church, as it will, seek first to be intentional about raising the prayer banner. This invites the Spirit of God to be at work in the lives of those involved and minimizes our tendency to lean on our own understanding. It moves us toward recognizing afresh our utter dependence on God. God alone is the hope of the hurting church.
If you are part of a church that is experiencing hurt and conflict, confusion and disorder, God gives a measuring stick to determine what value system is at work.
Two kinds of wisdom…
James 3:13-17 talks about the two kinds of wisdom. One that does not come from heaven and one that does. The one not based on heavenly values is centered on earthly, unspiritual values with envy and selfish ambition at the core. Not hard to spot. The trademark of love will be missing as well.
The wisdom based on heavenly values will be pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
This higher value system can be reached by applying these five steps (see this devotional and the previous parts in the series) based on the foundation of love. It’s love that comes from the heart of our Father God to our own individual hearts. Then the world will see our trademark and glorify God in Heaven.
Tend your heart wisely! The state of your soul, the health of your church, and a watching world needing Jesus depends on it.
Father God, I thank you for my church. I pray that You will work in me and through me to display Your love and Your wisdom within my church. Help me to do my part to keep my heart pure, peace loving and considerate so that You will be honored in this community by our trademark of love. In Jesus’ powerful name I pray, amen.
Questions: When someone has hurt you, what is your initial response? Where do you first go for comfort?