You Don’t Have to Hurt Me to Help Me
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? Proverbs 18:14 KJV
A man’s spirit can endure all kinds of physical infirmities, but a wounded spirit can be just too much to bear. Emotional wounds are often more serious than physical sickness.
For example, a person can fight a long hard “good fight of faith” and recover from cancer or some other debilitating disease, and a short time after their victory they die of a broken heart. Many elderly people discharged from a hospital—with the prospects of a living a relatively healthy life at home with a family member—will die shortly thereafter because a loved one wounded their spirit by having them confined to a Nursing Home. What about the spouse, whose long battle with some crippling disease is pronounced disease-free; shortly thereafter dies, when they learn that their spouse was cheating on them in an extramarital affair during their sickness. A Medical Examiner may conclude that they died of natural causes—but the truth be told—they died of a broken heart. A broken spirit is a wounded spirit, and an unhealed wounded spirit can cause you to die naturally or spiritually of a broken heart.
In the church, you don’t have to inflict hurt on another to help them. You don’t have to break a heart in the name of the Lord under the color of leadership authority. The Word of God clearly enjoins that we walk in love with others in the church, and that we speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). How does love speak? “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere. Love never fails . . .” (1 Cor. 13:4-8), but it never hurt to help!
Metaphorically the Church is the only Army that wounds and kills its fellow soldiers (2 Tim 2:3); it is the only Body that inflicts pain and suffering on its own members (1 Cor. 10:16); it is the only Building that pulls down and damage it parts (1 Cor. 3:9); it is the only Bride that acts ugly and mean-spirited in the presence of the Bridegroom (Rev. 21:2, 9); and, it’s the only Candlestick that throws shade rather than light (Rev. 1:20).
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt”—not true! Unwholesome vicious words spoken in the guise of helping someone can really hurt and wound their spirit (Prov. 15:4). But thank God for Jesus: “He heals the broken heart, and binds up their wounds” (Ps. 147:3). Whenever you find yourself on the painful end of church hurt, don’t run from the church, run to God!