It's a mean world out there, boys and girls.

And if you work on a church staff, you know it.

People are mean.

Church people are mean.

I’m always amazed at some of the things people said to me as a staff person that they would have NEVER said to anyone else outside the church.

Someday I’ll write up a list.  It’s kind of funny now.

But it wasn’t in the moment.

You know what I’m talking about.

Church people love to talk trash.

And the internet has just made it worse.

One actress, Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker has had enough of all the mean-spiritedness.  Here are a couple of quotes from here:

“The world has gotten too mean for me, it’s just too bitchy. All the websites and all the blogging and all the people giving their opinion and their hatred … it’s all so mean-spirited, it’s all so critical… It’s sport for people, it’s fun to get on at night and unleash their own self-loathing by attacking someone else who they think has a happier life — or something, I dunno… I don’t know if you can imagine a friend sending you something they thought was funny, that was something mean someone wrote about you and there’s like 50 comments from complete strangers across the world about you — and you can say ‘Oh I let it roll off my back’ and ‘I wouldn’t take it personally’, but you have no idea until it happens to you…It doesn’t feel nice.”

Absolutely.

Truth is, the church has been ‘bitchy’ for a long time now, and I think the world may be just catching up.  🙂

(That said by someone who’s felt the same wrath as Mary-Louise, only in the confines of a church.)

Am I bitter?

No, I don’t think so.

I’m just amazed at how people who claim the love of Jesus can so easily dish out the vile they do and not think twice about it.

I just heard someone say (again) this past week:  “I would expect to be treated like this in a secular job, but not in the church.”

Many times, that’s the sobering reality, and sad but true.

How do YOU deal with these type of people in your church and ministry?

Todd

7 Comments

  • Steve Miller July 18, 2013 Reply

    You expect bad treatment from the World, it hurts but it is expected, so you develop a thick skin or you just stop talking to people.

    The Church is your family, people united in
    Christ, people closer than your own blood relatives. We aren’t supposed to put up walls or keep our defenses high so it is easier to get hurt.

    Many Christians just start to put up the walls and defenses in church, they adopt a emotional protection plan to separate themselves form painful folks so they don’t get hurt. When this is done the local church lucks like the World.

    The Christian solution is to be wise and spiritual, not quick to take offense. Realize God will use the painful remarks of others to refine you by pointing out where you are overly concerned with what people think of you rather than what God has called you to do.

    Take every hurt immediately to Christ, ask him “is there any truth in this?” Ask Jesus to reveal what is at the root of the comment, how can this be used to glorify God? Maybe it reveals an unhealthy attitude shared by many in the church which needs addressed, don’t wimp out.

    The challenge is to be mistreated, but not become bitter. Pain and discomfort is one form of spiritual bodybuilding, absorbing hurts is a heavy weight it takes Christ’s help to lift. God will use these trials to bulk your spiritual and leadership muscle.

    In the church you will get hurt. You will get mistreated and misunderstood. If you attempt to safeguard yourself from pain you will miss out on a significant part of your sanctification process. Leading is not a comfortable position, but the godly leader will grow closer to Christ through the struggles.

    • Steve Miller July 18, 2013 Reply

      thank you auto correct for your interesting but incorrect word choice:

      “lucks” should be “looks”

      When this is done the local church looks like the World.

  • Jeff Ruble July 18, 2013 Reply

    This really hits home with me. The reason why is because for nearly 8yrs I went through the pain of Christians laughing at me criticising me spreading rumours and twisting my words around.

    Instead of running to God I like Elijah ran away from Him. I was a fool in doing so. I told Him that I had enough of turning the other cheek. I wasn’t mad at God only the ones who hurt me.

    Then my hurt turn to bitterness, wrath,to full blown revenge. I poured out my wrath on anyone in my path.

    After not attending church for 18 mon. God lead on a path way to a lady at Kroger. Each time we always talked about the Lord then she invited me to church. I began attending but I had my mind made up of just going and not getting involved.

    God melted my heartstrings and He has me serving Him ad worship leader. I thank Him so much for His grace. I heard Chuck Swindol say, “GOD CANNOT USE A MAN UNTIL HE HURTS HIM DEEPLY.”

    If thay is the case he beat the living daylights out of me. Steve, I really like what you said in your post and will keep it for future purposes. I thank my God for mean people because He is using them to mold me into what He wants me to be.

  • Barry L. Nall July 18, 2013 Reply

    Agree completely. Have been preaching this for some time now. Preaching the value of being nice. What a strange world where I have to preach to “mature” Christians to be nice, kind and well, you know… All that Bible stuff.

  • Fred July 18, 2013 Reply

    I think it is ridiculous that many Christians will bad mouth you if you aren’t a conservative and a Republican. If you have any points of view that doesn’t toe the party line you are garbage.

  • Jeff Ruble July 19, 2013 Reply

    Well its true and it happens. welcome to the new age church movement. political partt affiliations as well as healthy. bank acconts. sad but true. It is more of a social club not a church.Churchill

  • Bill Zinn July 21, 2013 Reply

    The door to my office is very large: large enough for those with big, discerning mouths to get out of. But I own a business, and have little time for those who want to offer their “discerning” negative advice. I am closely involved with several programs at our church, and a leader in recovery ministries, so I get to experience both sides: the everyday business world, and the world of church insiders. The world is kinder. What’s up with that?

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