Many years ago, in my youthful exuberance and raw passionate love for God, I set out to change the world for God. I preached the love of God and healed the sick everywhere I went. There were no grey areas in my life; everything was black or white, right or wrong. I knew the nature of God, He was revealing it to me through supernatural experiences; unfortunately, I can’t say I always demonstrated it.
During this time I sought a church to call home; one that would “understand my passions”. Needless to say, I wasn’t received everywhere I went. Sometimes it was my fault, sometimes not, but regardless of the reason, I took offense and the hurts started to build.
Funny thing about hurts, if not dealt with, they will influence every part of your life and ministry, especially your relationship with God and others. Those hurts will start dictating how you view others, and if you are ministering, you will minister out of those hurts instead of love.
Anyway, my hurts against “the church” built causing me to become more and more separated from all Christians except for those I was ministering to. Gradually my message changed from God’s unconditional love to one that was centered on going against the popular doctrines that I saw were unscriptural. I slowly went from loving all, to seeing the faults in the lives and beliefs of others. Now, I realize some may say, “ Aren’t you supposed to expose false teachings?” Yes and no. We are called to expose false doctrine but the way we go about it is as important as the exposing of it. If you look at the life of Jesus, He taught the truth. He didn’t teach against anything unless he was addressing the teachers of the Law. Even then, He never sought them out, they came to Him and addressed Him; He was just responding. So yes, we expose the false but we do it by teaching the truth. Light will expel darkness if you just let it shine.
So, my hurts continued to build and I became more and more isolated from other Christians until finally one night, sitting in a restaurant in Malawi Africa, I walked away from ministry. I still loved God tremendously; I had just allowed the hurts to build until my discontent with the condition of the church caused me to want no part of it or even to minister to it. The not-so-funny thing about isolation is that the enemy knows that as long as he can keep you from the fellowship with other believers, you will never be healed from the hurts.
I stayed away from any organized Christian service for four years; even then it took my wife telling me it’s time for us to start going to church again and prodding me for me to go. I knew this was from God and I knew where He was telling me to go, I was just reluctant to go. I had never been to the church He was telling me to go to, but I had seen the pastor and had seen his heart. I knew he had a heart in love with God and with love for the people.
We’ve been going to Christian Center Shreveport for 3 years now and God has used the people there to heal my heart. He has once again restored my love for people and the desire to see them become all God has created them to be. I could not have been healed of hurts from the church unless I started going to and started being around the church again. (I realize we the people are the church and the place isn’t but give me some grace here 🙂 ) We cannot be all we were created to be apart from the rest of the body. I’ve learned through all this that it’s not about being in 100% agreement on every issue, it’s not about people understanding you or recognizing your “anointing”. It is about loving people, serving people, and laying your life down so they can be who Jesus has created them to be. I’ve learned that it’s about having a family that when you are down, they are there to stand with you and help support you. I’ve learned that it’s all about love and for that I’m very thankful to my Christian Center Family. I love them and even when I’m not able to be with them physically, I’m there in spirit.
To all of you that have isolated yourself from others because of hurts or because they don’t believe the way you believe, get back in the fellowship. Don’t worry about them or what they do or say, love them, serve them, and watch the wounds heal.