Church used to be so wonderful for her until the conflicts began.

Becky’s nights were sleepless. Joy was a distant memory. Church used to be so wonderful for her until the conflicts began. She was wounded by both staff and members, but at the same time she also let fly her own sharp verbal arrows. And so, she withdrew from her church family, from corporate worship. Now she only watches church online in the loneliness of her living room. She has drawn away and is a distant spectator.


As I listened to her story, I thought of all the times Jesus kept showing up on the Sabbath in the synagogue to worship. Rarely was He well received. In his home town they chased Him out and attempted to push Him off a cliff. Yet week after week, Jesus kept honoring God and His command for corporate worship. Corporate means: “formed into a unified body of individuals”. This is the unified body of individuals who worship the true and living God.


God doesn’t give exemptions in the fine print of the Bible. It does not say, “Stay home because Mrs. Smith is such a hypocrite. Pastor Smith has been known to occasionally be too blunt. Elder Smith has treated you unfairly. For all these reasons, ditch church.” Jesus rubbed shoulders with some of the worst of the worst in the Temple: the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the scribes. The vast majority treated Him unfairly. They didn’t know God; they were just religious. Yet Jesus kept worshipping corporately and obeying God because He loved God. It is a privilege to be able to worship together.


For Becky, some excellent advice would be “turn your focus away from the people involved and the church itself and identify the root cause of your pain, turmoil, and disillusionment. Honestly identify what you are feeling. If you are like most people, here are some possibilities: anger, sorrow, disappointment, rejection, hurt, jealousy, vulnerability, fear, rebellion, pride, shame, embarrassment, or loss.


Find out what is at the core of your hurt—not what someone said or did to you, but what is really causing your pain? Then search the Scriptures to discover what God says about it. Take a Bible concordance and look up each word and read, think, pray, and apply the verse. For example, you may think that you are angry when in reality you feel rejected. What does God say about rejection? He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5); “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3); and, “Surely I am with you always” Matthew 28:20).” (GotQuestions.org)


Note the privilege of worship and the command in Hebrews 10:19-25. We need to: “hold on to the hope that we profess without the slightest hesitation—for he is utterly dependable—and let us think of one another and how we can encourage each other to love and do good deeds. And let us not hold aloof from our church meetings, as some do. Let us do all we can to help one another’s faith, and this the more earnestly as we see the final day drawing ever nearer.

Becky, draw near!!!

For further thought, click to listen to the story of Melody Green