One of my recent women’s conferences was on the subject of hurt in the ministry. Oh my… did that strike a chord! It caused me to ponder just how deep a wound that was in the body of believers; and if you’ve been a part of a church for any time at all you’ve likely worn the badges of Christianity on your own vest. I’ve seen people proudly display their badges of hurt and I’ve seen others who kept them tucked away from view yet still the pain and anguish of unsettled hurt was transparent. I’ve often written on here that I am the queen of the “I’m Fine Theory.” I’m not saying it’s always healthy reasoning, but it’s how I cope. But what does the Bible say about hurt when it comes from those in the congregation of the Lord?
I certainly make no claims that today’s post will fix the issue, it’s a blog, not a book… although following this conference, I’m inclined to write it. Because that wound in the body of Christ is deep and wide and worst of all infectious.
Today’s post is for the purpose of encouraging you in the moment, and somedays that’s all we need to make it through.
Can I have this dance?
Serving the Lord in any capacity be it a paid staff position, volunteer or voluntold is akin to a dance. Somedays you dance with grace and other day you do the two step. I’m pretty sure I’ve clogged a time or two for the cause of Christ!
One of the most beautiful dances of all time and makes the heart swoon when the lady and her lord glide across the floor in sheer elegance, gazing longingly into each other’s eyes. My early days of salvation bore a resemblance to that grace. I loved the church (still do by the way) but at that time everything with every one of God’s people was beauty and grace. I was in such awe of the goodness of God that I didn’t take the time to dwell on anything negative. Even the negative had a positive side because I knew God would fix it! (I still believe that.) But then the band played a different tune…
The Two Step
The timing of the dance is key! Quick, quick, slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow. And so it is how some progress in the ministry. And then there’s the whole “stepping backwards” thing when one is moving forward and another backwards; and should the timing get off someone’s toes will get stepped on and other folks on the floor get knocked down. Now I know that good Baptist girls don’t dance, so this is all metaphorically speaking of course. (Insert smile here) That two step got me in a serious straight a few years down the line in the ministry and more than my toes got stepped on. Someone clogged on my heart. And I was one of the lead dancers on the floor where all eyes were on me, waiting to see if I would miss stepped or keep on dancing. So I put on my prettiest boots and just kept on… I was “fine.” On the outside.
On the inside I was one hot mess, but I did eventually make it through with valuable life lessons. I received my first certificate of completion in the school of deception.
So what’s my advice if you’re facing that today? Make a change.
You may have to change the music, change the dance or the venue all together.
The word deceive is derived from the Latin word , decipere, meaning to catch, ensnare or cheat. The deception of a friend is the hardest on the heart and can trap us in that place. We never believe that we’ll be forsaken by someone we care about, and when it happens it casts a dim light over relationships in general. Trust becomes harder and harder and advice seems to become more abundant. It’s in that place that change needs to occur.
Change the music
People’s advice is readily available and often wrong. Take caution on where you seek counsel. Satan is more than happy to fill your mind full of negative thoughts about those who hurt you and anyone else in your life that might hurt you. My hurt stopped when God sent a friend in whom I could confide.
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
Satan will sing a song that will ensnare you in unnecessary pain for a very long time. Yes, betrayal hurts, but you can move on by changing the music. Find a Christian friend that will encourage healing and stop talking about the hurt.
Change the dance
Change the direction of your steps. You’ve got to put a new plan of action in place. Your previous actions caused hurt, so let’s make a new plan; one that has you in a new direction. Another major factor in me getting through the hurt I experience was that I always had a new project that kept my mind occupied on new and exciting things.
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
I love that scripture. It reminds me that hanging on to old things will often damage the new things. Sometimes we need a fresh start (new wine)! The old bottle is just going to leave a bad taste in your mouth… move on!
I’m several years on the other side of that hurtful time, and still yet today Satan will sting my heart with a reminder. I’m not saying it’s easy… I’m saying it’s necessary if you want to dance in the harmony of the life God wants for you.
Dance on sweet friends!