You don’t know…

Everyone has a story. You don’t know me until you know my story, and even then, you might not see my heart as Jesus sees it.

You don’t know me even when you hear I have an addiction. Because you don’t know, you might not guess: I’ve been told I need more than human help, and I’m wondering if that means church. You don’t know that I’m afraid I’d look like a hypocrite if I came to church. You might not suspect I worry that people at church might discover what a mess my life is and reject me.

You don’t know me even when you see I am angry or depressed. You might not guess that I am a gentle person whose trust has been violated. I seem disconnected from God, but could you guess it’s because I feel I sinned against by letting my abuser do what he did?

You want to see the hearts as Jesus sees them. “He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) The Lord who had compassion was not a bystander. Love for the lost drove him to the cross to take away the sins of the world.

You don’t know people’s stories but love for the lost drives you. You have found hope and eternal life at church, and you want others to find what you found. You want your church to be a place where people struggling to be sober are supported and encouraged. You want your church to be a place of healing for the survivor and protection for the trusting. Don’t be a bystander. Learn what you don’t know and then look at my heart with the compassion of Jesus.

New this month on the Congregational Services website:

A Compassion Ministry interview with Pastor Phil Merten on “Recovery Friendly Churches” – be sure to look for the “Download” tab to find a discussion guide you can use with your leaders or in Bible class!

WELS member “Anita” talks about the devastating spiritual effect of abuse she experienced. Take her words to heart and get the Standing Up for Children training for all who work with children at your church.

Rev. Jim Behringer
Director, Commission on Special Ministries

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