I know so many people who were abused and mistreated in the church which left them completely devastated. I know children whose spiritual lives were sabotaged by leaders or other people in the church. It happens. I’ve seen it. It has happened to our own family.
I have no words to even begin to describe how incredibly horrible this is! People who never set foot in a church again and some have even turned their backs on God after a “leader” or someone in a church has hurt them so terribly. There are sometimes wolves in sheep’s clothing in the church and we need keep watch not only for our own sakes but also for our children and grandchildren too.
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
If you suspect this is going on in your church, or something seems off, don’t ignore it. Seek help! It’s important! The worst thing to do, however, is to stop going to church or to turn your back on the Lord. That’s exactly what satan wants us to do and he’ll use the church to do just that if we let him. Don’t let him! Get counseling, seek advice, talk to someone that you trust. Do whatever it takes to get help and healing. It’s not your fault. It’s not God’s fault. It’s the consequence of sin and a fallen world.
Here are a few things that we personally look for when seeking a church:
1. Sound Doctrine
This is the most obvious common sense. We make sure the church is a bible believing church with bible beliefs and doctrine. We go through their doctrinal statement and statement of faith. This should be 100% biblically based on not politically correct. Everyone has their personal preference on certain issues but it should never go against God’s word.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
2. Servant’s Heart
The pastors, elders and leaders of the church should have a servant’s heart. They should love the Lord, love people, and love their families. If they are moody, manipulative, give people the cold shoulder, act grumpy towards the people in the church on a regular basis, then we won’t be back. When church leaders view this as a job and not a ministry ~ it shows. People can tell.
Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24
I’m not saying that leaders in the church need to be perfect all the time and not share their feelings or frustrations. In fact, I feel that pastors and leaders should be encouraged, prayed for, and loved on every single day. I’m talking about the leaders who don’t like people, play favorites, and push people out the door with their attitude.
Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
3. Sin is Not Ignored
When sin is allowed in the church and not addressed, it ruins lives and ruins the church. If there is sexual sin, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse being allowed in the church, and the leaders are making excuses or sweeping it under the rug ~ RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
We look for a church where love is demonstrated on a regular basis. When people in the church love each other, love their leaders and congregation, love new people, love non-christians, love their community, love people in other cultures ~ basically love outside themselves, it makes for a strong church and individual growth. That’s not to say that they don’t love themselves because I truly believe that is really important. But their focus is on meeting the needs and loving on everyone around them.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
Read my blog about this very thing:
God wants us to go to church for US! It’s a time in the week, set apart where we focus on God with other believers to study God’s Word together, worship God together, and have communion to remember Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. It’s for us to get encouragement and courage. To lay the stress and pressure of the world at the feet of Jesus so we can focus on Him to renew our strength. If someone in the church is sabotaging this for us ~ it needs to be addressed.
~ Pray for wisdom
~ Talk to the person who is doing the hurting
~ Be firm but kind
~ Talk to a leader, pastor or counselor with the person to work things out
~ Move forward
~ Prayerfully figure out if there needs to be more steps taken. Obviously, every situation will need to be handled differently depending on the situation and severity.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
If there is past hurt in your heart from the church, please know that this is not from the Lord. There are good churches out there. Healing, love, freedom, and forgiveness is yours to take! God is loving and powerful and will heal and lead you. Journal your feelings, pray continually for healing, seek help, get encouragement. Please let me know how I can pray for you and how I can help. Our family has been there. You are NEVER ALONE!
Health and Wellness Tip
Last week I shared our story of how I discovered that brain health and balance begins in the gut. I also shared how we’ve been diligent to take high quality probiotics, yeast killers, digestive enzymes and papaya tablets daily for years. So why wasn’t this healing our gut and brain? I’m so glad you asked!
We were missing something HUGE! We found a probiotic that has an enzyme that will breakdown the protective shield that will hide the yeast. Plexus has a special blend of probiotics that targets yeast overgrowth, gut balance, digestive health and brain health. AND it works!!
Plexus TriPlex are three products that work together, to focus on the major things that cause health and weight problems in todays society. Blood sugar balance (not just for diabetics!), gut health, inflammation and detox.
I’ve seen amazing results in not only myself and my family, but also in thousands of others. I’m so thankful!
I hit some sort of “I’ve HAD IT!!” attitude last summer. I read 4 books on brain health, for crying out loud! Who does that? Someone who’s fed up with doing everything they know possible with diet, exercise, supplements and treatments and their entire family is still having major health issues ~ and someone who is bound and determined to get to the bottom of this health crisis.
Lots of prayer ~ lots of research ~ and lots of trying everything under the sun!
God answered my prayers ~ and in a funny way too! His sense of humor made me laugh and cry at the same time.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
If you’re struggling with health or weight issues. Pray and ask the Lord for wisdom. Then read my blog!
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