The last place we expect to get hurt is within the family of God. We assume church people are safe people. But, hurt comes with church leadership. When it happens, the wounds it brings can quickly become a breeding ground for bitterness.
Bitterness can become a gnarly vine that chokes our souls. It poisons our hearts and actions. Scripture says we and others will pay a great price if it is left unchecked (Hebrews 12:15).
What's a Christian to do? When we are wronged, justice demands that someone pay for the wrong. We know that the Lord wants us to forgive. But how can we handle the tension between justice and forgiveness?
I came face-to face with this dilemma when my husband and I planted a church. We relocated to another state with two preschoolers and another on the way. Our church and our daughter were born six weeks apart. After a few months we found out that a couple from our previous church was moving to our area and wanted to help us in our new church. We were ecstatic. After a year ...1