Interpersonal Problems Contribute to Wounds in the Church

By CCD contributor: Paul Wu , August 15, 2017 09:08 AM

Believers worship in a church

Last March I wrote the article Why are Many People Hurt in the Church, discussing the reasons from the perspective of church conflicts and the unrealistic high expectation of Christians regarding the church.

However, some believers are hurt in the church, not because of contradictions, but their fragile hearts. Free from any hurt, they are wounded by some casual words or deeds due to their vulnerable and sensitive hearts, resulting in enormous pain and even their leaving the church.

Gaps among believers bring hurt to people with low self-esteem.

A church consists of people from diverse backgrounds, including the rich and the poor, intellectuals and uneducated, as well as the good-looking and the less attractive. The phenomenon of keeping up with the Joneses inevitably exists in the church owing to the weakness of humanity and unhealthy social currents. A portion of Christians feel inferior to other people who are richer, in higher positions, more talented, or more beautiful. Then they are hurt.

So don't flaunt your wealth, status, educational background, knowledge, or the good look in the church to avoid creating pressure for others.

For those with worse conditions, don't care too much about others' superiority. Have faith that everyone is precious regardless of his or her financial situation, intelligence or appearance, and remember that many lowly people have been used by the Lord.

People with "special experiences" are hurt when others touch a sore spot.

Your testimony may unintentionally strike a person raw nerve. For example, one sister was beautiful and had many suitors. One day, a married man shared that he and his wife didn't have sex before marriage or hold hands and kiss until they were blessed by a pastor, claiming that those who lived together before marriage were unholy. Hearing his word, that sister went away with a sullen face. She was found sobbing in the corridor. It was learned later that she had a relationship with a brother of a student fellowship at the university. However, she, just young and ignorant, slept with him. After that, he had the cheek to say that she was unholy and abandoned her, which caused her great trauma.

People with tainted past experiences tend not to tell others while their nerves are easily touched. As a result, they should get psychological counseling to be healed. More important, believe in the love of the Lord who will comfort a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17).

A misunderstanding in the church leads to hurt.

Misunderstandings are unavoidable in interpersonal communication. Believers are often hurt because of misunderstandings with other Christians. 

An elderly brother turned to a pastor for help to solve his family dispute. After it was settled, he wanted the pastor to keep it a secret. She promised him. By coincidence, a sister forgot to enter his name for an outdoor activity held by his fellowship. He started to imagine the worst, feeling that his secret was revealed by the pastor so that he was rejected by the church and not allowed to join in the fellowship's activity. He hated her, denouncing her for failing to keep her word. At last, he angrily left the church. Actually, the pastor kept her commitment and the members of the fellowship didn't know about his family issue. He was hurt because of a misunderstanding that resulted in his extreme behavior.

Misunderstandings are inevitable in the church, but don't make a hasty judgment or indulge in wild flights of fancy. Learn the fact.

In addition to these factors, pay attention to another two circumstances.

Suppose that some Christians sin or go astray in their faith, and other people point it out. Their unwillingness to repent contributes to a conflict with others. In this case, they should be given time and prayed for.

The other situation is that some suffer from paranoia caused by mental diseases and believe wrongly that other people are trying to trap or harm them. For this group, we should be tolerant and care for them with Christ's love. In addition, we should take them to a doctor and frequently visit them, praying for their recovery.

- Translated by Karen Luo

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