“Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out.”
So said Anne Rice, best-selling Christian novelist. She hadn’t renounced her faith. Just walked out on church. I’ve known a few people who’ve done the same. They still believe in God, read the Bible, pray, and live by moral standards. In fact, nothing has changed…except for one minor detail. They don’t attend church any longer. They were hurt by those who never should have. Christians should build one another up…or so they had believed and heard. But their experience was different. So now they worship God alone…in the quietness of their home sanctuary.
Hagar was also hurt by someone who should never have harmed her. And if this person represented God, maybe she’d just run away from church too. Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away. (Genesis 16:6 NLT)
Hurting people hurt people. And while Christians should know better—and often do, they don’t always follow what they know. So they hurt…and injure...and force some to their home sanctuaries where they don’t have to worry about God’s representatives wounding them anymore.
I’ve never run out on God—though I could have. I’ve been hurt by more Christians than I care to remember. And though I try not to recall, those cringing memories occasionally rise to the surface. It’s then that I remember my full confidence and trust can’t be placed in people…even if they’re Christians. They are human like me. I’ve hurt people along the way as well…although not intentionally.
God is the only one who’ll never disappoint me. I must trust him while attempting to understand his earthly representatives and their foibles…and love them anyway. Along with being cautious that I don’t become a wounder too.
When others who represent God hurt you, don’t blame God by running out on him.
Prayer: Father in heaven, may we run to You rather than out on You when we are wounded by others.
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