What Church Hurt Is Not

Series: Deconstruct | Reconstruct | Week 6: What About Church Hurt and Hypocrisy?

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:3-12 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

1. What were Paul’s motives in preaching the Good News?
2. Who did he say examines the motives of our hearts?
3. How did he describe his actions in verse 12?

In the Greco-Roman world, traveling philosophers and teachers came into communities, shared their ideas, took advantage of people, and moved on. These leaders leveraged Paul’s opposition, accusing him of being just another false teacher. In response, Paul explained his motives, methods, and mission. He wasn’t afraid to urge the Thessalonian church toward godly lives, but at the foundation was a motive to please God, not people.

While church hurt is real, we need to acknowledge what it is not. It’s not disagreement, when someone sees things differently and respectfully communicates that. It’s not confrontation, when someone loves us enough to not let us act foolishly. It’s not accountability, when someone loves us enough to ask tough questions. And it’s not simply being told “no.”

If we call something church hurt, it’s important to ask if our experience fits any of the above categories. Have we taken steps to understand the other person’s heart, motives, and perspective? Have we done everything within our power to repair and reconcile? If not, we need to first examine our own motives and then seek to understand others.

When you’re hurt by someone else, is it natural for you to seek to understand your own motives and the motives of the other person in the situation? How might things change if you did this first?
Would you say your primary purpose in life is to please God, not people? How does this manifest itself in daily situations?
Do you have people in your life who love you enough to hold you accountable and urge you toward a godly life? Do you do that for anyone else?

Pray through these questions, and write down what God is prompting you to do next. Share with a friend, and take a step to apply it.

Want to go deeper? Visit the Traders Point app or this link to see our recommended resources for this week’s topic. If you want to catch Sunday’s message again, you can find it here.

Deconstruct | Reconstruct