It is a pleasure to be having this conversation with you again. Today will be talking about how to discover God after experiencing hurt in the church. This is an interesting topic because I have lived all my life in the church.
I was raised in a Baptist church and I remember when I was younger, I was so passionate about God. During praise and worship, I will leave the children’s church and step into the adult church to just stay by the drummer and dance my life out, Then I will head back to the children’s church. I was also known as the dancing child, a happy, jolly good fellow. When I became a teenager, we attended the Redeemed Christian church then I moved to my present church when I was in Lagos, Nigeria, which happens to be the Fountain of Life Church. I have lived all my life in the church and I understand what it is to be hurt by the church. I understand what it is to hear some words, words that cut deep, experience some level of drama, emotional abuse, and different flavors of them. And I understand what it is to be disappointed and to feel like people who are meant to protect and preserve you are the people stripping, messing, and abusing you.
Usually, the church is expected to be a shelter. The church is expected to be a safe zone, an anchor. So when we are going to church or when we go to church, we expect some level of preservation, some level of emotional safety, and some level of peace and joy. And sometimes, what we expect is not what we receive and because of this, we think that that is how God is. So when we are disappointed and betrayed by men we think that the God we defer to also operates like that. So how do we discover God after an emotional or an emotionally unpleasant experience in the gathering of supposedly those believers or Christians or anyone really no matter who you defer to?
The first thing I need you to know is that I take responsibility for the fact that I must have been one of the people who must have hurt people in the past. I am aware of some mistakes that I made. Nobody has ever confronted my mistakes, but I have confronted myself. And with hindsight, I am aware that I must have caused some emotional pain also. So that is the main reason why I am having this conversation because at the level I caused the emotional pain, I was less than 22. But between 22 and now I must have also caused some pain. So I’m not even in my church in Nigeria anymore. My Church is in Dallas. I’m just a jolly good fellow there. But just because we are human, we have the tendency to step on people’s toes and that is the reason why I am taking responsibility as a human being and also say that I must be and I must have been part of the flock and must have been part of these people who must have done one thing or the other. So when we go to church, there is a part I’m not sure is ingrained in our consciousness which is the fact that the church is a gathering of humans. And as long as humans exist, humans will step in and out of boundaries. Humans will step on what you call your emotional toes. And humans will do their best based on the wisdom and the intelligence that they are operating with at that level.
Sometimes, some of these leaders, operate from a place of unhappiness, a place of fear a place of insecurities. And when we all gather, imagine 2, 3, 400 People gather, you know, just all of us in a hall, worshipping God twice or three times a week. There’s absolutely no way that we’re not going to mess each other up to some extent. There’s absolutely no way that a leader will not utter words that are against emotional intelligence. So they may actually have good intentions. The ones who correct you, want to give you feedback. Constructive criticism, but somewhere along the line good intentions have become bad execution. And maybe this happened repeatedly. We might have even happened to a point where the person you held dear, you respected you gave your life you labored you know the person you sacrificed your energy or resources for, you were always in church, always sweating your resources. Your time, your marriage, everything. You empty yourself of yourself. And all you got happen to be betrayals or insults at every level. And because of that, you have stepped out of the garden of Christians and you have stepped out of a relationship with God because if Christians can do this or if members of your religion or the belief you identify with can do this then how much more is this how we are supposed to operate? Your anger is legitimate, what you feel is legitimate but I need you to know that as long as we’re human, we are going to hurt each other. Not because we are wicked people but sometimes because if we knew better would have done better. We didn’t know any better. That was what was available to us at that time. Some of us have actually outgrown the bad behavior. We’ve unsubscribed from that level of emotional witchcraft. Sometimes these people will not even apologize to us. But that is just what it is. Humans will always be humans. So we need to take responsibility for the fact that we needed and we still need to manage our expectations. I also had an expectation that Oh, because it is the gathering of God everybody there is like God and people definitely had expectations also and I must have betrayed some of them the same way I felt betrayed. So we’ve all tasted what you call breakfast in the Nigerian parlance. And this is 2022. So we’re going to operate first of all or what is called expectation management, which is at the best and the height of everything, humans will always be humans at the best. Humans will always be humans.
The second thing is that we must separate religion from relationship. Go into the church, become a worker become a leader. Fantastic. They are flavors of our belief system, and how committed we are to what we cherish. But at the point where I am right now and where I should be is that no matter who hurts us, we should separate humanity from fatherhood. We should separate disappointment and betrayals by human beings from our relationship with God. God is not human. God is not a betrayer God is not evil. God is not wicked. So no matter what we experience it stays at the human level, at the level where humans are just the best that they are based on what they have. If people knew better they would do better. God has nothing to do with what your senior pastor has done, what your leader has done what your member has done or what your friends have done. God has nothing to do with it. God is in a world of his own, in a class of his own. Your anger is legitimate. Your pain is legitimate, but trust me, it is not close to the personality of God. What you know about God sometimes is not who God is. It is what you have been told about him. Anything that is close to unkindness and wickedness and abuse is not the flavor or the ingredient or the spice of God. So I am saying to you today your anger is legitimate. We have betrayed people before on behalf of everybody in the church because I am also the leader I am apologizing to your soul and I’m saying that we are sorry. I am giving you a virtual hug and I’m saying we are sorry. We were leading while we were bleeding. Some people are still there, but I am here to apologize to say that we are sorry. But it has nothing to do with us. Don’t lose on the genius, the intelligence, and the creativity of your Creator because we messed you up. Forget about us and focus on who God is. Pick a Bible that you can understand whether from Message Translation to Amplified Bible, whatever it is, forget about the humans, and focus on who God is you are missing out. Open your Bible there is something, there is sense in it, creativity is there. You are leaving an innovator you are leaving a disrupter and you are leaving wisdom alone. You are leaving a beautiful relationship and focusing on us. We don’t matter that much. I think I should let you know, we don’t matter that much. We don’t matter that much. So please stop giving us so much power in your life. Focus on who created you and who your father is. I hope this was good. Please share it with anybody that you know who has a challenge with the church and who has been hurt. We are so sorry. But I am giving you permission to leave us alone. And to just focus on your relationship with God. Once you get a relationship with God back. You can decide how to operate in the church. Let God be seen in you and we’re gonna keep praying and hoping that all of us be the best versions of ourselves. We embrace emotional healing so that we can stop bleeding and messing other people up. But as long as we’re all here, disappointment and betrayal are part of the mix. Very humbling. And you know, I wish we were not but we’re human and it is what it is. But trust me your soul is so important to me and I just want to say the word sorry that we missed a part of you up. But that is not who God is. Please focus on who God is. And I’m rooting for you. I love you and I’m hoping that you are back in the arm of the most important person in the world. I will talk to you again. I am the emotions Doctor.