Strategies for Confronting Church Hurt

Church hurt is something that many black families have experienced. Here are some tips and strategies for overcoming it.

Church Hurt refers to the pain sometimes inflicted by religious institutions — a pain that distances sufferers from their communities and from God.


It has affected countless people and is a source for much turmoil in the lives of those who have experienced it. If church hurt has affected you or your family members, these tips should help you work through it.


Feel the feelings. It has to feel bad to have the very resources that you should be able to depend on (i.e. the church),  let you down. The church gains most of its power through using people that we know, like, and trust as vehicles that bring this pain. Don’t deprive yourself of the right to feel your feelings for what they are. If you’re sad about it, be sad. If it makes you cry, let your tears flow. Learn to trust your feelings and know that whatever you are feeling is valid to you, irrespective of what anyone else tells you, you should be experiencing.


Separate from the offender if the offense continues. If you are an adult, you don’t have to surround yourself with people who hurt you. Many of us grow up with the mindset that family is family (biological and/or church) and that one she never turn their back on a family member. But what often remains unspoken, is the fact that our family members often turn their back on us first, which in return overrules the betrayal that we may be accused of for distancing ourselves from bad people.


In fact, second Corinthians 6:14 reminds us that we should “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…” If a person is judging you and causing you to feel bad about yourself, it’s a sign that your beliefs are not compatible. After all, “ He who is without sin cast the first stone” ~ John 8:7


Fact check. Just because a religious leader has informed you of something that makes you feel bad, doesn’t mean it’s true. And even if it is true, you don’t have to follow their approach to fixing it.


Consult with a spiritual leader that you feel comfortable with, only if you wish to pursue some form of religion. Trust your instinct. If your dad is telling you that something is wrong with your spiritual leader, it’s something that you want to take seriously as it is your greatest indicator that something is not right. By trusting your instincts and connecting with someone you can trust, your chances of growing your religious faith will improve significantly.


Surround yourself with like minded people.The chart is a very common thing and it’s helpful to be surrounded by other people who can be a source of inspiration for you. Even if you’re connected by other experiences, it’s important to be surrounded by people who can think in a broader context of things so that they can help you along as well.


If you are serious about addressing your experiences with church hurt,


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