It’s not something we want to talk about. But we need to. Here’s the fact: We hurt one another. All of us do. Often, we hurt because we’re hurt. This is why psychologists say, “Hurt people, hurt people.” Husbands hurt wives; wives hurt husbands. Siblings hurt each other; friends hurt each other. The experience is universal.
Sadly, even we as Christians hurt each other. I think we should talk about it. Author Gene Edwards broaches the topic in his book Crucified by Christians. It’s written from the perspective of a client talking to his counselor. Here’s an excerpt:
Welcome, please come in. I’ve been looking forward to your arrival.
Please take this chair.
I have come here because . . . because . . . I am one of those Christians who have been grievously mistreated by other believers. I have found it difficult to deal with this, and even more difficult to fully recover. I am here in search of help that might lead to my complete healing.
Shattering is it not? Perhaps one of the greatest shocks a Christian will ever know is to discover that fellow Christians can be cruel. Nonetheless, though it seems to be a fact, it is not well known, nor easily accepted. . . . Your first step to recovery? Is it to deal with that person who is most responsible for your being crucified? Lay aside the name. The villain lies elsewhere. Drop the obvious. Place your crucifixion in the realm of the invisibles, in realms unseen. . . . It is outside the names of earthly men that you discover your crucifier. . . . Surely you know the one to ask. Ask the Crucified One. He knows.
When you were crucified at the hands of men, in reality you but entered into His crucifixion. . . . Did you not once tell your Lord that you wished to be His? Did you not say to Him that you agreed to allow into your life whatever He willed . . . that He could do anything in order to bring transformation? Remember that moment when you asked to be conformed to His image? Consider this: Transformation hinges on your becoming a living sacrifice. The only other road is self-protection.
His will in your life almost always includes a very memorable hour of virtually total destruction! Your destruction. Your death. But remember, it is your death being brought about in a manner similar to His death. Destruction is what He experienced on the cross. It was a divine destruction, one that fell out to the accomplishment of a divine purpose.
Never forget, your Lord was destroyed! Publically. Brutally.
Oh, but He rose from the dead!
True. Consider now the implication of that very fact . . . as it relates to you. The negative aspects of your being would be hit very hard by crucifixion, would they not? Be assured, the dark side of your nature does react very harshly to being crucified. The dark side of a person does not want to be crucified. It does not even want to be criticized. Our darks side never wants to be dealt with, not on any level. When you are being crucified, your dark side emerges in full fury and clear focus. It becomes extremely visible and clearly exposed.
Who you really are is starkly revealed during a crucifixion. Only a crucifixion, a very unfair crucifixion, can accomplish this unveiling. Can you then see His hand in all this? If there is darkness to brought to light, hidden motives to be exposed, weaknesses to be found, surely they emerge into the light in agonies of being crucified.
There is nothing which more exposes a Christian’s weakness than how he reacts to being crucified by other Christians. Whole worlds of things about you are being brought to light when you are crucified.