People are people. And people in the church are no different. Life changes when you get this revelation; at least it did for me. It’s a sad day when the truth is revealed. So then how do you handle it when you truly see the devastation caused by those in church leadership? How do you go forward when what you thought to be really wasn’t ever anything at all? How do you decipher truth from fiction? You forgive. Is it hard? Absolutely. But for your sanity, freedom and future you must forgive.
If you have ever attended a church and or been part of a church split you know the difficulty of it. If you have ever been spiritually abused you too know how hard it is to forgive. Those in leadership probably did things that you don’t even want to talk about. They probably stole years from your life and deceived you right there while praising the Lord Almighty singing and dancing. They probably did much more damage than you are even aware of. While it may take years to overcome you must forgive. Your life is too precious to live in the bondage of other people’s deception. When you put your trust in those in leadership roles and they fail you; things change. You must change too. What must you forgive?
1) You must forgive yourself putting more faith in man than God. It’s a weird thing to me how many people talk more about how wonderful their pastor is compared to what Jesus has done for them. ‘Oh my pastor says this, says that’ and on and on- but what does Jesus say? If you are relying more on man’s word than God it’s an issue. Ask yourself if you put your pastor or leader above God in the idolizing and then repent and seek forgiveness according to Acts 3:19. The Word is clear that you shall have no other gods. That includes the god of pastor.
2) You must forgive yourself for allowing their poison to put you in bondage. The bondage that others are allowed to put you in is by your doing. They will continue to pour into your life all things terrible so long as you allow them to. It doesn’t matter what they have done; your level of forgiveness is what is required and between you and the Lord. From personal experience; it was the leaders that taught me so much and then turned on me it hurt. I never imagined that they were just so hateful. Never. The worse thing about it was that they didn’t even hide it. Nope. I’m not sure if that is good or bad but it surely was out there without a doubt. It personally changed every single thing in my life and my prayer is that regardless of what they have done you no longer accept them to have that control. Those who like and thrive on control will continue to use it as a breeding ground. And their behavior is not a reflection of God. And your unforgiveness toward yourself or them won’t be either.
3) You must forgive them for their wicked, evil and vile ways. The wolf in sheep’s clothing is moving to and fro- do you see it? If you are not paying attention you won’t. If you are not careful to forgive and do it quick; they win. Their wickedness can destroy you if you are not careful. If they choose to live like Jezebel; let them. It’s not how you want to live! And in case you don’t know- Jezebel was mauled by dogs. Best to get them out of your system and move on toward more important things; like giving God the praise and glory that you are no longer being under that leadership and authority!
In many cities church is business. I remember moving to Dallas and everyone asking me ‘what church do you go to’ as though it was a status to say this one or that. It made me miss my old church in Denver that much more. I don’t follow church; I follow Jesus. It’s that simple. You see; it isn’t about being followers of leaders of churches to the point of elevating and worshiping them. It simply isn’t. It isn’t even about church if you get to the core of it. It’s about an intimate relationship with Christ and when you get away from that; things happen. And when they do; the damage is more than most can handle. When you walk straight with Christ and your brother in leadership falls; it’s forgiveness that is easier to fill your heart. Does it mean it’s easy? No just easier because you will have the Rock to stand on. When you are with Jesus you can rest in peace knowing that He will never leave you or forsake you. What better leader to have than that?