This is the final installment in the #ConfessYourChurchMess series. Follow the conversation on Twitter, and catch up on the other posts by clicking here.
We’ve all seen the headlines. We’ve heard the horrible things done to people in the name of God. Some of you have lived those very ugly experiences. How could I possibly say the church deserves forgiveness? To be honest, I considered emailing the folks at Rethink Church three different times to say, “Maybe I’m not the right person for this blog post.”
The church and I have a…strained relationship. For the first 28 years of my life, I was bent on following the rules and doing my very best to live up to the sometimes unrealistic expectations of some church people. But inside, I was dying, and I felt as if I couldn’t reveal my pain.
The mission of the church is to create more space at the table for God’s children, not make them feel like unwelcome party crashers. We should do our part, in love, to help the church understand that hurting people aren’t looking for a particular style of worship or a spate of programs and classes. They are just looking for a place where their shame and pain can be accepted, and their lives restored to wholeness, through the light and unconditional love of Jesus as shown by a community of Jesus followers.
I have decided to work toward forgiving spiritual abuse. And can I tell you something? Forgiveness isn’t easy. And it doesn’t happen overnight. Forgiveness is a marathon, not a sprint. We take it one day, one act of love at a time. If we believe that there is value in joining with a community of like-minded people, on a journey towards Jesus, then we must choose love over bitterness.
Steve Austin believes that everyone is recovering from something. His goal as a life coach, speaker, and best-selling author is to help others create a lifestyle of focused emotional health and clarity. Sign up for Steve’s weekly newsletter by clicking right here.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
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