by Nathan Anenson 

Have you ever had a classmate who posts Bible verses on social media, but does stuff that doesn’t align with the Bible?  Have you had a Christian boss who pushed his faith but treated his workers horribly?  Have you had a church leader you admired, who you found out later was living a double life?  These kinds of examples bring confusion and hurt.   

If you have been confused, hurt, or disappointed by a Christian or a church, I am very sorry.  That’s not how it’s supposed to be.  Jesus reserved some of his harshest words for those he called hypocrites, those who pretended to be someone they weren’t.  Jesus didn’t get angry with broken people who knew they needed forgiveness.  Jesus got angry with broken people who pretended they didn’t need his grace.  Here’s the deal: Christians are not perfect.  Christians face the same temptations as everyone else and sometimes we fail.  How then, should we respond when Christians let us down?   

In the book of Acts, two of Jesus’ followers were hurt by religious people.  Paul and Barnabas were simply telling others about Jesus and some religious leaders “began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him” (Acts 13:45).   

So, what did Paul and Barnabas do?  They could have quit church, but they didn’t.  They decided that they would not let the sins of a few people keep them from the goodness of God.  Instead, “they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and… the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:51-52).  It’s so easy to let bitterness take hold when we have been wronged.  But I don’t know anyone who is filled with joy who is also holding a grudge.  And so, Paul and Barnabas had to “shake the dust off.”  Sometimes shaking the dust off just means a decision to let it go.  Other times it means counseling and time and lots of prayer.   

If you have been hurt by a Christian, I am so sorry.  It’s not how it is supposed to be.  However, don’t let the sins of a few people keep you from the goodness of God.  Jesus didn’t let you down.  As Craig Groeschel says, “If you have lost faith in Jesus because of people, maybe your faith is in people when it should be in Jesus.”  Jesus calls people to a humility where they forgive and ask for forgiveness.  It is then that people can see the one who is perfect and worth following, Jesus Christ alone.