Burned by or Burned out?
When I ask people why ...
When I ask people why they left a church congregation I usually get one of two responses. 1) I was burned by someone there [congregation member or leader] or 2) I'm just burned out on the same ole, same ole.
Lately I seem to be running into a lot of people holding grudges for one reason or another. Who do they think they are hurting? I promise it is NOT the person they are mad at. That person may not even know about it, or know why. How can that be? Because people, in general, lack honesty and integrity when dealing with relationships.
I know, there are times when we hold our tongue to avoid hurting someone's feelings. Perhaps it would be better if we found ways to communicate without being offensive. "I am upset with you because..." is probably just a difference of perspective. But if we don't talk about, how will we change it, correct it, move forward in peace?
By the way, forgiveness is not just a Christian principle. It actually has documented health benefits!
I have been in groups where I struggled to get along with, let alone like, an individual. Work or social settings almost always have someone we wouldn't hang out with by choice. But we "suck it up for the greater good". Wouldn't it be more fulfilling to find common ground with that person? You don't have to agree on everything, but something...
Do you quit your job or participating in your service or social club because one person doesn't like you? Probably not. And yet we seem to be so quick to leave a church over one out of 50 people who we don't really get along with [BTW, if it was me, let's talk about it please.]
The second one is a litter harder to resolve. What is the cause of the burnout? There are so many variables that affect mood and motivation (or lack thereof) that it is nearly impossible to cover them all in a short article or blog post. However, let's address at least one of the more admitted reasons. Lost interest. Why did you loose interest? Boring? You already know everything there is to know? Or at least all you want to know? Maybe you just don't care anymore. Maybe you believe you can be fulfilled without this group setting. Maybe you just lowered, or raised, the bar of your expectations to beyond the scope of this particular group of people. Then perhaps it is time to move on.
But please, do move on. Do seek a group of like minded folks who will be there to love, forgive, comfort and support you. Associate with people you care about and with whom you can offer those things. That give and take is for your own personal well being as much as it is for the group.
The Mayo Clinic offers some advice on forgivness:
"The Bible" has many passages on forgiveness, but I think this one is the most important.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgive and be forgiven!
Find the love, peace and encouragement of a congregation near you!
Be blessed, be a blessing!