Down through the years I have spoken with many people who have been hurt by churches. They have been hurt by what people have said to them. They have been hurt by what people have done to them. They have been hurt because someone let them down. In some cases, these hurts have taken years to heal. Some have vowed never to return to church again.
There are those who see this and use it to attack the church, saying how the church is full of hypocrites. Actually, such hurts demonstrate the reality of what the church is. We are sinners who have been saved by grace through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our salvation compels us to seek to live with others who know this same grace. Such tight-knit communion can lead to great hurt. Those who love much have much to be hurt by.
The good news is that those who know saving grace can know forgiving grace. Our prayer is this, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).