Are you a wounded Christian in search of a loving God you feel in your heart has to exist? This whole topic that I am about to share with you makes me angry. I could have chosen a different word than angry and could have sugar coated it and said that this topic makes me sad. But that wouldn’t be telling the truth. I very rarely get angry. If my son were here, he would vouch for that. He would also say, “Pay attention, because Mom is mad!” And, by the way, it’s okay to be angry. Sometimes being angry is what you need to heal.
The reason Mom is mad is because precious lives are at stake. Usually the first wounding as Christians is when we are children. Let me share a story.
A Story of A Wounded Christian
The Rev. Scott Smith was an Associate Pastor at our church. He has such a gentle spirit and a wonderful sense of humor. All of these qualities are still there. You see, Scott had returned to our church after first being our youth minister. He went on a tour to Iraq and served as a Chaplain in the Army. Scott knows a thing or two about being physically wounded too. He shared this story with us during the Ash Wednesday service.
Scott attended a Christian camp when he was at grade school. He was around ten years old at the time. The camp leader was leading the devotional that evening. Through the entire talk he had a white coffee cup that he kept putting up to his mouth. Scott and the other children looked around at each other curious as to why he kept putting the cup up to his mouth.
They didn’t have to wonder any longer because the leader gave the white cup to the first camper and told him to pass the cup around. Scott was shocked to find that inside the cup was dirt and a worm. It was absolutely filthy.
The leader went on to say that each of the boy’s hearts were like the inside of the cup, filthy and dirty. On the outside they look pure and white, but on the inside they are filthy. If that was’t enough, the leader hurled the cup onto the ground where it broke into pieces splattering the dirt and shards of the cup all over the room and all over the boys startling them in the process. He went on to say that was how God saw us.
This was the same type of message that I heard growing up. My pulse started to race and I waited for Scott to interpret this story expecting him to validate the actions of the camp leader. Instead, he condemned this example saying that this single act made him feel worthless, dirty and ugly in God’s site. God doesn’t look at us at all in that way.
It had taken Scott years to get over this “lesson.” How many of us have experienced this same type of fear and condemnation growing up? I can give the answer to that – too many.
The Search for a Loving God
The last time I checked my Bible, Jesus came to save us, not condemn us. Religion has done more to drive people away from God than bring people to God.
I realize that this message will not be popular with the thinking of, “It’s my way or the highway.” Ironically, God’s way is the HIGH way.
Many people experience a mid-life crisis. Part of the reason for that is looking at the halfway mark. There are some activities you can’t do anymore. Getting a job isn’t the same at 20 as it is at 50. The crisis comes in because you start to actually pay attention to your life instead of running as fast as you can and creating a life that our culture and society illustrates as the way. We begin to question everything because we realize that what we have been taught either isn’t true, or wasn’t representative of who we are. We start to take stock of everything, especially our faith.
For me, I was definitely a part of the walking wounded Christian crowd. I turned away from my faith for twenty years, sick of being told that this life was meaningless and that eternity is what mattered. The problem in turning away from my faith was in turning away from God. God is not in a building. God is with us.
I John 4:16 says: God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. Verse 18 goes onto say: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Resources to Help You Find the Loving God
It has taken me years to, what I call, detox, from the hurtful and oppressive messages I received from the pulpit growing up. I am no longer part of the group of walking wounded Christians.
Feed your mind, heart and soul with writings from Christian teachers that teach love. Read your Bible and search for verses that are focused on love, hope, faith.
Join a church where you can be strengthened in your belief. Learn to pray, meditate and journal your feelings and get them out so that you can heal.
If you are a wounded Christian, seek to have an intimate relationship with a loving God. He is waiting with open arms to heal those wounds.
Need help in finding the true loving God? Here are two resources. The first is a free eBook and audio book download called Bringing God’s View Into Focus to Live Life with Joy and Flow.