Ultimate Betrayal

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Nothing is worse than being hurt by someone you love. The very people that you put your trust into, but it happens, even in the places you least expect…The Church.

Everyone has high expectations for the church. They expect the pastor and his family to be the ultimate example as if he is Jesus himself in flesh. You wouldn’t expect there to be gossip, unfairness and manipulation in the church.

I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to church hurts, and I can say it’s like a knife going straight into your heart. Just like dealing with family pain, church pain is also very difficult.

Many times we don’t want to express the hurt we have faced to keep the visage that the church is perfect. Others couldn’t face it any more and have not only left the church but left God.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. – Romans 2:23

The first thing we need to remember, the church is filled with people like me and you…and we are not perfect. We all have a sinful nature and sometimes we want things our way without realizing we are hurting people. Even the greatest leaders in the bible sinned.

Express how you feel to others.


The first thing we tend to do when we are hurt is build up walls. We don’t want anyone to know the real hurt we feel. I find this is especially true for women because we are always trying to protect our children and family, that we don’t want to show our vulnerability.
God is not asking us to carry these burdens alone.

Everything we go through builds character


God has a plan in every aspect of our lives. He knows what you are going through. There is a bigger plan in all of this. Trust God that He will see you through it.

Talk to God


Bring everything to God in prayer. Jesus has experienced this as well. He was rejected by the Pharisees and Sadducees. His own people rejected him. These things had to hurt him as well.

Be faithful to God


One of the main reasons we get hurt is because of the high expectations we have set for others. Everyone is expecting the pastor to be perfect…how can he be…he is a mere man. He is also trying to work out his salvation. Everything we do, we should do it for God. Don’t look for recognition from men but look to God.

Wait for God’s direction


Maybe it is time for you to go to another congregation, but wait to hear from the Big Man, Himself, before making a move. It is easy for us to get up and leave when we are upset but wait for God.

You are not alone


I am grateful for the sisters and brothers that will express their hurts. While going through the pain it feels like you are alone. Like no one will understand what you are going through. But there are a lot of people that have faced this and can provide you with their testimonies as well.

Trust me, I have gone through so much with the church. Someone once told me I am resilient. Actually…I’ve been told that many times. As I was talking to someone the other day, I was thinking about all the things I’ve gone through, and I have to say, it is only by the grace of God that I haven’t left Him. I could never understand why I have gone through so much, but I do now. I have given you the very things I’ve used to help me to push through. I understand I’ve gone through the pain to help others. I pray these tips will help you.

36 thoughts on “Ultimate Betrayal”

  1. Yes church hurt is very real and as you mentioned many don’t talk about it because they don’t want to discuss it with their unbelieving friends and family out of fear that it will turn them away from wanting to go to church, and God in general. And perhaps your believing friends and family attend that church. All of the tips that you mentioned are so important. And it is definitely important to remember that what people do is not a reflection of God’s character. Even if they are being used by God in other areas. Thank you for providing tips and letting people know that it is ok to Express their hurt and receive healing!🥰🥰

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    1. If we trust in God we will overcome. Many don’t even understand, because you been hurt from the church, it doesn’t mean it’s time for you to pick up your bags and leave. Sometimes there is something God is teaching us or others through it

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  2. Thank you for talking about this topic that’s often ignored! It’s so hard when we get hurt by the church. These are some great tips to get through it, especially talking to someone about it and staying faithful to God.

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  3. I think two reasons why we don’t talk about hurt in the church are a) we don’t want to be perceived as negative, gosspis or even slanderers and b) considering it is “church” where everyone – especially the leadership – is a saint, we believe the issue must be with us.

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  4. Your article about the Ultimate Betrayal – being hurt by people in church – is a good reminder to adjust our expectations, even in church. We can expect to have healthy relationships but that also means that we need to set healthy boundaries! I think we can also practice not being easily offended. Also, like you wrote, healing takes time. God blesses us with others in the church to help us through these times and I hope to help us deal with the other person.

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  5. This was so good! Thank you for addressing a difficult topic and giving advice on how to handle it. I like that you said just like we get hurt in our families, we can also get hurt at church. We live in a fallen world and sometimes our church family will hurt us. But the steps you shared can help us to process and respond to that hurt.

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  6. I have been hurt in the church many times, so I can relate to this post. One of the pastors actually recommended a book called Authority Abuse in the church. It is one thing to be hurt by imperfect man, but quite another when people in positions of leadership abuse their authority. God would not have us subjected to abuse. And I agree that we should wait to hear from God before we leave a congregation. My sign was when I realized that I was building myself up all week to attend church after being torn down the previous Sunday, week after week. We are supposed to go to church to hear the Word of God, to worship with other believers, and we should feel edified when we leave, not torn down. Another sign is when wolves in sheep’s clothing are welcome there. The pastor is the shepherd of his flock and should be protecting his sheep from imposters. If he is not discerning enough to do so, that also is a sign to leave. Great post; I definitely needed the reminder that I am not alone in my church hurt. I have even been persecuted for choosing to attend online church until God shows me a congregation that is safe for me to attend as a single woman. And now everyone has to attend church online due to the pandemic, so that silenced that crowd; church is not the building, it is the people who are truly fellow disciples of Jesus. God bless you. 🙏🏽💕🌸

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    1. Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I find when we try to express our concerns with others, many want to say it is due to offense, but until you have gone through it, you won’t understand. For me it wasn’t the pastor saying something that offended me but the pastor was literally breaking up my family by causing division with gossip. Everyone was scared if we didn’t listen we were being disobedient to authority. I’ve come out of that now, so I want to help others to be free.

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  7. You address a very important topic here, Elizabeth. I love how you write out of your personal experience and what has worked for you. A godly response to church hurt is always best. You noted that we should share our hurt with someone else. I would strongly recommend being careful who we share with because there are some not-so-trustworthy people in the church who could cause more damage than good.

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  8. What a beautiful post! I have experience hurts at church too. So much so that my hubby and I almost left. But God! He is so good and pulls us through so much if we let Him. And each victory just makes us stronger and stronger … ❤

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    1. I’m so glad God helped you through. My husband and I also had some hard times as well. He will still question things, but we have to remind ourselves to keep looking at Jesus. He has the master plan

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  9. I love what you said about recognizing that the church is made up of people who have sinned, fall short of the glory of God, and are also working out their salvation. We often set unrealistically high expectations for pastors and church leaders, but we can’t expect them to be perfect. Letting go of unrealistic expectations helps us extend grace.

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  10. What a read! Your post Ultimate betrayal- being hurt by people in church hit my heart! I guess we all get hurt by people in church at some point. I try to see people as Jesus sees them- through the lens of the cross. It gives me more patience with people and also makes me take a second glance at the situation. Sometimes people say and do things that are misinterpreted but if they are just being nasty- I won’t tolerate it!

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  11. I have just started the recovery process for church hurt. After years of my family pouring our hearts out for our church, because we (privately) disagreed with one part of the church’s stance, we were asked not to serve anymore. When you say waiting for God it is so true. We could have angrily just left the church, but instead we kept going and worshiping God as we prayed for His answer. Now my husband is a youth pastor at a different church getting paid (doing the same amount he did for free at the other place)

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