I was talking with a friend and, earlier this week, with another woman who was hurt by her church. I've walked that walk myself. We all have walked it out with the attitude of forgiveness--understanding that all people are flawed and human and we all seem content at times to stay quiet in that loving place.
However, Jesus got a tad bit riled up a time or two himself, and he had no qualms about speaking the Truth to people who have erred.
Somehow, we always seem to be presented with the same situations over and over again. Why? What are we supposed to do when we hit that brick wall again and again?
What's the definition of insanity? ;-D
I think that it's good to forgive. I think it's good to have patience. I think it's very nice to sacrifice our own feelings if our family, husband, wife, or friends, etc., are all enjoying the experience--in fact, GROWING in the very same church experience that might be hurting us and others.
I don't think it's okay to keep hurting.
I think that we have to walk in the Truth and stop being doormats for the Body. God loves us to serve, like Jesus served, and to be loving and loved, but surely He doesn't want us to be hurt repeatedly.
Therein lies the thing: if we keep walkin' it over and over, what does that mean?
It can mean one of two things:
Maybe WE need to change our actions. Perhaps it is OUR behavior that is causing us to be hurt in the church situation. Is it pride? Is it selfishness or ego? We have to consider this. Then, we have to get right with ourselves and tell it like it is--change our way--being kind to ourselves in the process.
If we truly know that it is the church's wrong way of treating folks that is the problem, maybe it means we're supposed to be loving reminders and perhaps, if need be, correctors. There is nothing wrong with stepping up and naming the elephant in the middle of the room. Tell it--kindly and firmly--but tell it if it needs to be told.
Doing so may take more love, wisdom, and guts than sitting back and trying to bite our tongues.
Afraid of being labeled a troublemaker? Hm. Get over it. What crucified fellow was also labeled as such? Speak the Truth, walk the Truth, humbly, kindly, honestly, firmly.
I think we have a responsibility to do so.
Jesus, for all His humility and lovingness, certainly wasn't a pushover. We don't have to be, either.