If you have left the faith or the church, Jesus wants you to know how much He loves you and cares for you. Beloved, He is right there, still loving you and working all things out for your good–even if you have gone as far as to completely turn from not just Christianity but Him as well. He still wants the best for you and for you to know His goodness toward you.
If you left due to things done in a church or to you by those identifying as Christian, be open to search your heart for a moment. Did you place your hope, faith or expectations in people or in God? Did people leave you angry, wounded or disappointed, causing you to wonder what Christ is really like or if this thing is for real? People fail but God alone truly meets every need.
No person is perfect but the Lord. Even those with a desire to truly show kindness make mistakes or openly express their frustrations, and at times we can end up in the line of fire. At times we ourselves create impossible expectations for others as well.
Other times, God’s ways and timing differ from ours, and we can become disillusioned or filled with doubt and offense when He doesn’t seem to be our Help. This is when choosing to believe though we have yet to see comes into play.
If people doing wrong causes us to lose faith, then our faith is probably in people instead of in God. As difficult as this is to digest, stay with me for a moment. As one who has been through hurt and disappointment even in the community of faith, I long to encourage you and remind you of God’s love despite anything that you’ve witnessed in people or in Christianity.
Set every human-induced trauma, wrong or tragedy aside for just a moment. Reconsider Jesus who delights in you and loves you through it all. Choose in spite of what it feels like and looks like to get to know Him more. Leaving Him due to others’ faults, others who are not perfect and don’t have it all figured out (even when some think they do) is like leaving a spouse because of their family. If you truly love them, nothing will turn you away from them. Jesus cares about you deeply and wants to bring great joy, healing and adventure into your life.
Of course there are churches and people who do things wrong, focus on self or money, obsessively point their fingers in judgment, are religious and commit wrongs that grieve even God’s heart. This is not how everyone is not how God is. Many of them were simply taught wrong, lack God’s love, or are deceived by wrong beliefs and desires. Some are just very wounded themselves and need healing, and their wrong behavior is a scream for deliverance. Some truly just don’t even want God, sad to say. That said, I encourage you not to let such decide your opinion of God or even others who truly love Him.
Becoming a Christian does not equal becoming instantly perfect. God is working on all who will cooperate with Him in their transformation. Unfortunately some just want what satisfies the flesh, but truly there are those who want to display Jesus’ heart and actions of love through their lives, and they’d love to grow in God alongside you.
If there is ever something you’ve heard or read about Jesus does not sit right with you, seek Him by His Spirit in His Word for the truth. You may find that a particular “belief” isn’t even in line with who He is but was something another person wrongly believed and taught.
Search out that group of authetic people where you can find genuine community. Give it time, let God lead, and don’t give up prematurely. You won’t get along perfectly with all of them, conflicts will occur (we are all humans in process and all with differing personalities), but you will discover true friendship and genuine support, if you’ve found that right niche. If you approach all with humility, a taking-to-God of any negative thought or feeling with a desire to show love even in the face of hurt or misunderstand, and seek to give versus gain, you will flourish and find amazing beauty.
Maybe try a much smaller community of believers, pushing past the uncomfortable exposure of being unable to hide or blend in. Don’t nexessarily go to a very populated community, where it’s easy not to engage with others; you may not necessarily find the deep connections there (although you may find it there if it’s where God wants you to be). Find people to do life with.
God loves you with a love that endures all. Oh, beloved of His heart, return to Him. One step at a time is all it takes. He has much love to pour out upon you even in this fallen world, and He wants you to not only know His love in words but to experience His love tangibly for yourself. Come, return to Him and start back on the adventure of a lifetime for all eternity…
Is it really worth forfeiting an eternity of joy, love and peace because of the actions of human beings? Return to Jesus, beloved. Return to Him who created you to love and be loved.