“I would never put Him through that again!” most of us declare, grateful for what salvation means to us. Yet we do. We leave HIM with open wounds when we wound His Body. When we injure our brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus’s flesh on earth is torn. It’s as if the cat-of-nine-tails is hurled through the air and shards of glass and rock pummel His back with bitter lashes. Our unkind words, criticism of another’s consecration, or judgmental disapproval rips HIS meat from HIS bones. When we wound others, we leave Jesus broken and bruised, and as part of His body, we leave ourselves broken as well.
Jesus is a resurrected Lord. And He wants us to be ALIVE in Him, enjoying the benefits He purchased for us. But how is that possible if we are battered? We must give ourselves to the mending if we want the fullness of His wholeness. Even in Old Testament sacrifices, restitution of wrongs was required alongside offerings to restore relationship with God. Our worship demands no less. Matthew 5:23 bears this out for New Testament believers.
Here are some healing actions:
- Notice others. Listen to them. Pray for them. Identify with their pain and their joys. Encourage them. Use words, like oil and wine, to heal, to help, to cheer. Be present, and lend the practical.
- Seek to reconcile differences. This doesn’t mean everyone should think and feel the exact things. It does mean that differences do not get in the way of relationship. Reconciliation is possible when we permit ourselves to feel compassion for the reasons behind another’s poor choices. It comes when we pray for them instead of disparaging them. It comes when we continue to love and to be available for them when they need someone, even when they’ve disappointed us. It comes when we choose forgiveness instead of bitterness.
- Trust God. Instead of attempting to govern other people’s lives, back off and let God have that place. Usually, the list we most want to enforce is the one containing our values and convictions when it is the Word that must have that position of authority. In those moments that we’re called to confront, we don’t have to be confrontational if we are trusting God with the heart of the matter.
- Live for God. Not only do we need to trust Him with others, but we need to look to Him for our own direction. Rating our personal growth by comparing ourselves to others will either leave us unchallenged and compromising or critical and judgmental. Being faithful to what God wants of us and being true to the convictions in our hearts brings strength to the Body. These are the actions of our faith, which become roots that grow deep and branches that reach high. The stronger we are, the more able we are to bear the infirmities of the weak.
We use the word Communion when we refer to the Table of the Lord. By partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, we remember the sacrifice Jesus made. We recall His wounding that granted us relationship with Him. But communion also RE-members the Body. It is a fellowship that unifies believers. As His Body we are partakers of Him and of one another. Nurturing His Body keeps the wounding at Calvary. Brokenness is mended, and we can enjoy the fullness of His blessing.
Tip/Tidbit: 2 Corinthians 5 says that God has entrusted us with the ministry of reconciliation. How can you be a healer among the hurting today?