When Christians Hurt Other Christians – Part 1

sad woman looking out window

I once said to someone “the people who have hurt me the most in my life have been Christians”. They responded “that’s because that is who you have been around the most”. They had a point. I grew up in church, attended Christian schools for eight out of twelve years, went to a Christian college and spent years working at a Christian ministry. If I was going to be hurt, chances are it would be in one of those places right? Try all of them.

We’ve all been hurt but when it comes from other Christians that seems to make it worse. Some people claim to be Christians with their mouths but their actions betray that. Other times we expect our brothers and sisters in Christ to measure up to some high standard and forget they are human and mess up like we do (how much more so when they are in positions of leadership).

girl praying alone

We want them to act like Jesus but how many times have we ourselves fallen short in that area? His grace is there because none of us can measure up to those high standards. The only perfect one is Jesus. We fall down and we get up. Sometimes what we really need from each other is grace.

Fall 2003

couple in autumn leaves

I love fall, when we finally get a nice break from the Texas heat. It was really special in 2003 because A.J. and I had recently become engaged. I had been working for a Christian organization for several years. I loved my job, my co-workers and the Godly atmosphere I found myself in each day. The best part was A.J. worked there too. Most of the ladies I worked with were nice and friendly. There was one named Heather who didn’t seem to like me but I didn’t let it get me down. She hadn’t worked there very long so maybe she was still just trying to adjust.

Then one day my boss called me into her office. Someone had complained that A.J. was stopping by my desk too often, so they had decided to put us on different shifts. For the rest of our engagement, A.J. worked days and I worked nights, which meant we only saw each other on our days off and we couldn’t carpool anymore.

I was also taking college classes early in the morning, so this meant I would work all night, drive to school, sit through two classes, drive home, go to bed, and get up and do it all over again, all while trying to plan a wedding. This started taking a heavy toll on my body. I was tired all the time. I was tired at work, at school and even on my days off. Plus, I missed A.J. The wedding couldn’t get here soon enough.

woman head down sad

A few months before the wedding, A.J. and I both took a week off to visit his family on the other side of the country. This was a special trip because it was to be the first time I met them. I was nervous but excited too. My boss asked me to help train some employees on a new computer system we were using before I left. One of those employees was Heather.

One night while training Heather I made a comment that I have to finish training everyone before I leave for vacation. If looks could kill I would have dropped dead at that very moment. After her death stare, she got up and stormed out of the room and went into the bathroom. I sat there stunned. What just happened? It was just a comment made in passing. I didn’t mean it as criticism towards Heather. I was referring to myself trying to get all my work done in time.

I thought maybe she had misunderstood me and I wanted a chance to try to explain myself. I went into the bathroom and stood by the sink while she washed her hands. “I’m sorry if I said anything to upset you.” I said. She ignored me and left the room. She never talked to me again. In fact, she refused to even look at me after that. That hurt, but it was about to get a lot worse.

fingers pointed at women

When I got back from my trip, I discovered that Heather had spread vicious lies about me and turned the other ladies in our department against me.

One in particular, Brenda, who I had thought was a friend would surely not turn against me, right? I was so happy to see her when she came into work. I walked over to her and said hello. She refused to look at me, she wouldn’t talk to me, and her face was tight with anger. She was like a different person, and all this change took place in the one week I was gone.

I was devastated. I already had rejection issues from my past, so this felt like the proverbial knife to the back.

woman with umbrella walking away

I was so hurt by all of this that I made a decision I have second guessed many times over the years. I quit my job a month before my wedding. The stress of what was happening at work, piled on top of the other stress in my life, drove me to the breaking point. I left a job that I loved, that I had once been so happy with. Now my memories of that place are bittersweet because they are mixed with the memory of how it ended.

The story doesn’t end there though. In part two I will explain what God did later to help bring some healing to that situation.

What’s Your Story?

woman writing in notebook

Have you been hurt by another Christian? If you’re reading this, chances are you have. I know people who have been hurt so badly that they left the church completely. I’ll leave you with a few thoughts to consider about the people who hurt you.

  • Chances are they have been hurt too. It might have been many years before they met you. As the old saying goes, “hurt people, hurt people.”
  • It was never about you and them but about your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Give Him your hurts and let Him take care of the rest. He loves you and will never hurt you.
  • Forgiveness is not an option, it’s something God commands us to do. I know it’s hard, but it’s extremely important.
  • Your feelings might not change right away when you choose to forgive. There have been people I have found myself forgiving again years after the offense was over. They probably don’t even remember it and I’m over here forgiving them. But it’s important to me to be sure I have truly forgiven in my heart and not just with my lips, so I keep doing it until eventually my feelings really do change.
  • When you find yourself at the point where you can think of them and feel compassion, rather than anger, then you know you’ve truly forgiven them in your heart.

If you would like to share your story with us so we can pray for you feel free to do so in the comments below. If you would prefer to write me privately you can reach me at barbra@gracegetsthelastword.com.

God Bless You!

Barbra Jones


  1. i am a christian but before i was saved i got picked on in school work and church and christian women made a fool out of me christian friends also turned against me i know i’m not perfect but sometimes when i think of those times it hurts 3 or 4 years ago i’ve othyer christians who also made a fool out of me then on facebook from long island to florida also did the same thing and i also got hurt when christian meet me they already want another guy and to drop me like a hot potato they make it like it’s the first time it happened to me but that’s not true people have brought me down and never took me seriously i also was born into a musical family and play the drums at my church in Florida but next month he is retiring and they still don’t have a pastor yet some christian churches are very pickey anyway i don’t have a lot of friends very few i only kept in touch with a few of them most of these people are hippocrits and lyers i can’t figure it out why are people so mean to me bulling and won’t stop it it’s like being judged like a book by it’s cover when my mother was alive a couple of people from the choir bad mouthed me to my mother and used to put us in a fight that is not the way christians behave or act like that i need a lot of prays and for people to stop treating me thje way they do i never get a chance to speak until now so that is my story and i remember when my brother and sister in law came to visit us and a guy i knew from church had the nerve to telll me that thgere are other chirches to go to i said to him my brother and sister in law came to visit me and he backed down like a coward then these christians acted like people from school who would acted like they didn’t know me which was another lie that hapened again and people would just bad mouth me to make me look bad i hope one day i see a big improvement in my life like maybe getting married to the right christian women who won’t make a fool out of me so anyway please keep me in your prayers thank you God bless you

  2. David, 2021 seems like a long time ago, but your personal account on being hurt by other christians really touched me, and I have prayed for you. Like yourself (and many others I’m convinced) the hurt inflicted by other christians can be difficult to overcome. I don’t know why so many christians are so good at inflicting hurt, whether intentionally or not ~ it shouldn’t be that way at all if we take the words of Christ Jesus to heart and LOVE one another and esteem others higher than ourselves. I think of Ephesians 6 where it describes that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and dark forces at work, and long ago I came to realize that it’s not just unbelievers this Scripture is referring to, but other christians too. For me personally, I have had to come back, time and time again to a basic biblical truth found in God’s Word, and that is that it truly doesn’t matter what mere man may do to hurt me, whether physically or emotionally because it’s in Jesus that I find my worth. This has helped me to humble myself to mistreatment (so difficult because my flesh rises up in indignation and wants justice and retribution against those whose hurtful actions against us seem intentional and cause deep hurt). Can God can use it to grow and mature my faith in Him? Yes, I truly believe that, so Lord, thank you that you DO care for your children, and thank you that all these hurts can be cast at the foot of the Cross so that God’s Peace & Grace may once again prevail in our lives.

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