Propping up the Christian Reputation
How to stop bypassing your pain to make them feel good
Somedays, I wake up slowly enough to linger in the space between sleep and awake. And often, when I do, I hear old voices mingling with the new.
The old voices whisper in sweet, gentle voices that I’m focusing too much on the negative. I’m not remembering the good Christians and all their good intentions. I’m not doing enough to protect the reputations of good Christians. The condescension of their rebuke coats my clarity with warm syrup, until my perspective blurs. What’s real? I wonder, wandering the labyrinthian halls of the megachurch where I grew up in dreamy confusion and misplaced timelines. When’s real? How did the victims become the bad guys?
The new voices sound like mine. But that’s a sound I had to learn how to recognize as an adult. My voice is blunt but kind. My words seek to correctly match a name with its definition. Sometimes my voice trembles and holds emotion. I shorten sentences and scrapes word salad into the trash. My voice unlocks the door and turns on the light in those labyrinthian hallways. I don’t wander lost in time when I hear my voice––I click the metal door from that artificially cool brick building and step into the clarity of bright light.
As an evangelical, there are words I learned to say when I was in pain.
God is good…. all of the time.
There’s good and bad on all sides.
I’m sure God has a reason.
There are approaches I learned to understand.
We need to keep situations inside the family.
The world will attack Christianity if they know we have this problem.
The devil is just looking for ways to see us fail.
It’s best to deal with abuse in house.
It’s only abuse if you decide it is.
If you change yourself well enough, that hard or bad thing will stop happening.
Let the past stay in the past. We can pretend it’s not continuing in the present if we just don’t talk about it.
If you say it out loud, you give the devil power.
It’s called Spiritual Bypassing
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial