You may have read my post from Friday, “Expectations.” If not, I invite you to read it at your leisure. Today’s post is a follow-up to that one, but it’s not necessarily required that you read the other one first to “get” this one.
After reading Friday’s post about Christians simply being humans who make mistakes like everyone else, were any of you left with a few Yeah, buts?
Yeah, but Angela, what about when it’s not just a mistake?
Yeah, but Angela, what about when evil people use the Word of God for their own ends?
Yeah, but Angela, what about when professing Christians have done really atrocious things, and they’re not sorry? In fact, what about when they don’t even care that they hurt anyone at all, and they just keep going around Bible-thumping?
My sweet reader, that’s different. If you have been truly hurt by one of these people, I’m so sorry. My last post probably wasn’t meant for you.
There is a difference between people being on the lookout for Christians to trip up (isn’t that judgmental?) and people feeling on guard because they’ve been (possibly repeatedly) betrayed and wounded by someone who calls himself a Christian. It is possible for that second type of person to turn into the first type of person, however, so that’s why I said in my previous paragraph that I “probably” wasn’t talking to that second type of person.
You see, there are some people–and I’ve come across them in person and online–who seem to make it one of their life’s missions to point out the humanness of Christians, point a lofty finger, and then conclude that all Christians are hypocrites and, ergo, have made it impossible for that person to accept Christianity. Honestly, that’s closed-minded, hypocritical, and judgmental. You know, all those adjectives that people like that use against Christians. Some of those people are just being mean.
The fact is, however, that some of the people described above have been deeply wounded by Christians in the past. Like, really wounded. Out of that deep hurt, this new defense mechanism was birthed to avoid further hurt. To those people, I say sincerely, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry for the abuse, the betrayal, the lies. I can’t undo it; I can’t explain it away; I can’t make your journey to Jesus any easier. I can just say I’m sorry.
Here’s the problem, though: when someone has been so hurt by a professing Christian that they accuse all Christians of intentional evil, they are hurting people who didn’t hurt them. It really does hurt, you know, to bear the consequences of someone else’s sin. (Did you know Jesus already did that? And that He can free you of the hurt from other people’s sin, too?) Anyway, that’s what I wanted to say. I didn’t want to make it sound like I was taking anyone’s wounds lightly, because I’m not. I’m just saying that we get wounded, too. We’re all just people.
Let’s break the cycle. Ever heard the adage that “Hurt people hurt people”? Let it end now. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.