Written by 4:49 am Divine Reflections

Hurt by a church leader?

Often times when a person gets hurt by a leader, whether it is a Pastor, Bishop, Priest or Deacon; it is often brushed under the carpet. Typical remarks from others will be, ‘They’ll get over it,’ ‘They misread the situation,’ or ‘They are overreacting.’

This is why people who get hurt by leaders, often do not tell others what happened; they suffer in silence, especially if that particular person has a lot of influence and is respected by many.

Who can the person go to? Who can they tell without being judged? Now I am not saying leaders don’t get hurt, because they do, however they have a network to talk it through; this isn’t always the case with a congregation member or lay person.

When this happened to me I was confused, disappointed, and shocked. Thankfully I had a dear friend to turn to; as it is not good to suffer in silence. Sadly not everyone who has been hurt by church leaders have someone to talk too.

The emotion and pain can be so overbearing, that they can often end up abandoning church altogether, and suffer from depression.

If you’re that person I want to encourage you, you’re not alone; you’re not the only one that has been betrayed by someone in authority; that you’ve trusted, and may have helped in ministry along the way.

Will you ever get over it? Will you ever trust again, especially someone who is in authority? The answer is YES, through God’s help you will. Remember you need to take this step by step, here are some tips to help:-

Acknowledge the hurt and what they did. Sometimes when we get hurt we can often blame ourselves. We go over the scenario in our minds, maybe I did misread into it, and maybe I am overreacting, NO! Acknowledge that you were hurt and decide to forgive. Remember that’s because you forgive, doesn’t mean the pain will go away immediately.

Even though I forgave, I was still upset. I was not going to pretend that everything was rosy; that would do more damage than good. By acknowledging, it will help towards the healing progress.

Don’t suffer in silence. Yes you definitely need to talk to the Lord about it, and another trustworthy person, or seek counselling. No man is an island; we all need someone we can connect with on a spiritual, friendly, and professional level. You don’t even need to mention who it was that hurt you or go into vast detail, you just need to let it out, even if it is someone to just sit with you while you cry, don’t suffer in silence.

Seek Closure from God. I am a person that likes issues to be resolved, reconciliation, however not everyone is like that. When we are hurt by someone in this case those in authority, the issue may not be resolved, and they may refuse to give you closure. In fact they may act like you don’t exist, and carry on with their business engagements, and life as normal.

The Word of God tells us to reconcile and I had no control in resolving the issue. I came to the conclusion that I needed to seek the closure not from man, but God. Don’t wait for them to apologise you may not get that right straight away or not at all, especially if you have dealt with someone who has a proud, narcissistic type personality. They properly don’t even know to reconcile, as they would never see the wrong in what they do.

This is where to have to accept this fact, and come to the conclusion that only God can restore, and give you the closure you need.

Make a decision to move on. Let’s be honest sometimes we secretly want to take revenge, or want to hold onto the person hoping that they would be a chance of restoration. However in order to get our healing, we need to move on with our own lives. I know it is easier said than done, but it can be done. For me I was still holding onto the fact that maybe they would just reconcile, maybe if I send a text then they would acknowledge that there was still an issue unresolved.

I was still holding on, but had to wake up and ask, what am I really holding onto? I made the decision I had to move on and let them go, for my own healing and to get on with my life, allowing God to restore me. Don’t sit around going over what they did to you, even if they are prospering, try not to allow that to get to you and take revenge, at the end of the day everyone needs to answer to God.

Allow God to fill the void, get closer to Him seek His word, and allow Him to take you to higher heights, and from glory to glory, for His name sake.

To conclude we must remember that church leaders are human beings, unfortunately we can sometimes forget that, and put too much trust into them rather than God.

Brethren, don’t rush the healing process; this is what I tried to do. I saw them getting on with their life, and I thought well if they can do it, why can’t I.

When my friend would ask how I was doing, I would response; I’m fine I’m over it. The reality, I was not fine or over it. I would still be crying out to God over the situation. It’s okay to admit that you’re still hurting, and healing.

It’s okay to admit that sometimes you think about them, and miss their friendship and leadership.

You’re not going to stay there forever; God will fully and completely heal and restore you. Take it step by step, day by day.

You will get through this in Jesus name.

By Vanessa Grossett

Vanessa is a Literary Agent at the Authors Care Agency. She is also a columnist for the UK’s largest gospel magazine – Keep The Faith. She was born in London and raised in a Catholic home. Years after becoming a born again Christian, she published her first book called ‘Don’t Look Back – The Harmful Consequences for Backsliding’, in the year 2010. Read more of her beautiful writing here: https://www.keepthefaith.co.uk/category/columnists/vanessa-grossett/

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