For the next several days I will be working on a new book project. During that time I will be posting some excerpts from the previous books. We begin with a chapter from “Bring’em Back Alive” – A Healing Plan for Those Wounded by the Church. This chapter is called “Your Bleating Heart Will Tell On You” and it deals with the uncomfortable truth that sometimes we choose to remain in victimhood.
”As scarce as truth is, the supply is always greater than the demand.” Josh Billings
In this chapter I am going to take a plunge into truth that I pray will be woven lovingly into a tapestry of humility and grace. I will confess that writing this chapter filled me with more fear and trembling than any topic I have yet tackled (except politics). I pray that my tone will reflect the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath and that I will “Do No Harm.” If I do not create a spirit of love the truth of this chapter could do damage and that would break my heart. I feel this may be the most important chapter in the book.
I hope this book will be read by many wounded lambs. Some of you were abused by shepherds who should have restored but chose to condemn you (or worse). Some of you have been neglected by churchgoers who should have cared enough to seek you and return you to the flock.
But we must also acknowledge (time to duck and cover) the real possibility that sometimes we choose to remain victims. I am not going to deny that we are often victims of sinful, selfish and hurtful acts from those in and around the church. One of my prayers and goals for this book is that we honestly search our hearts and prayerfully evaluate if we have, in fact, made a decision to embrace woundedness.
It is an incredible waste of our spiritual potential to fixate on how things could or should have been different. It took me about forty-five years to figure out the following information that I am going to pass along to you (at no additional cost) for simply buying this book. Are you ready?
Things are not different.
We can usually make a case that would persuade any jury that our treatment by other Christians should have been different. We can obviously
make a solid case from the wisdom and conviction of scripture that things would have been different if Christians applied His words consistently. And yet there remains the unflinching fact that things are not different. No amount of time spent dwelling on how another sheep hurt me or should have done something different changes my situation. But the most natural thing to do is to focus on those unexpected wounds.
Imagine if you were shot and rushed to the emergency room. Would you spend all of your time worrying about who shot you? Or do you think your first concern might be to survive? I am pretty sure my priority would be to seek help and healing. Who shot me would be the least of my worries at that point. After healing I can concern myself with the shooter and whether justice is done.
Still, when we are victims of a shot from other Christians (or people in the church) we do seem to dwell on the shooter, not the healer. This is another strategy of the enemy who knows that healing is available. The last place Satan wants us to visit is the emergency room of God’s grace. In the case of Christians the act of healing allows us to leave justice in the hands of God and takes us out of the process. That is exactly where I need to be.
to be continued….