When someone hurts me

Hello, everyone. Have you even been badly hurt by how someone has behaved towards you at church? An experience like that can destroy our faith, if we don’t know how to deal with it. This subject puzzled me for many years. I was terrified of the consequences of speaking out, yet if I said nothing, disillusionment, anxiety and depression would wipe out my faith as if it had never existed. One of the main things I’ve been learning over the last three years is how to deal with, and resolve, conflict. This is the subject of today’s prayer:  
 

When someone hurts me

If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone (Matthew 18:15; NRSV).

So then, putting away all falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin (Ephesians 4:25-6).

I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow (A Poison Tree, William Blake).

No one is perfect,
Except God alone,
So when non-Christians hurt me, 
I’m not surprised.

But when fellow-Christians hurt me, 
I am shocked and disturbed.
What should I do when this happens?

Ah! Jesus said:

     If another member of the church sins against you, 
     Go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.

But I can’t do that!
It’s too difficult and risky.
I feel anxious
Even thinking about it.

Maybe I need to pray…

     Father, 
     Give me confidence 
     To go to those who hurt me,
     Talking to them with honesty and love
     In private.

     Teach me how to repair 
     Each damaged relationship,
     Never leaving my hurt to harden 
     Into resentment, dislike, or fear.

     Comfort me after dealing with each conflict,
     When I worry endlessly about what I said – 
     And whether I should have said nothing at all. 

     Help me to forgive those who hurt me, 
     And to remember that no one is perfect,
     Except you alone.

     I ask all this in Jesus’ holy name, 
     Amen.

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