I’ve invited several people to write “guest blog posts” for this blog. There are several reasons for this: 1) To offer different perspectives. 2) To generate even more discussion and conversation between blogs. 3) To introduce other bloggers to my readers.
(If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, please contact me at aknox[at]sebts[dot]com.)
You are not Well… come Here!
What is the church’s response to someone that has been so offended by something that they blame the church and now lump the love of God with the failings of us as a body together? Whenever I talk to someone that is this hurt, (and I was there for years) I am moved with such compassion.
Pain, no matter the reason, has one source: the enemy. (John 10:10) Emotional pain is like a bruise that never quite heals and it is possibly the hardest to get free from. So when we, the body of Christ, His church, see someone who is so hurt they lash out at us, what should our response be?
I believe it is this: You are not well… come here..
We must be transparent (1 Thessalonians 5:9) before the world and this means sharing our failings and our triumphs. The body is made up of broken people that are being made whole by the love of Christ. Notice the verb “being made”. It is present tense and we are in a constant state of change, renewal, growth, and transformation. (Romans 12:1-3, Galatians 6:15, Acts 20:32)
When people realize we are “real” and not pretentious self-possessed and self-righteous snobs, they begin to pay attention to what is going on in our lives. This is our witness: that though it rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), we have a place to run that is our refuge. A spiritual triage, if you will. The church is that place. Here the body acts like the nurses, attentively caring for the hurting, while the Great Physician heals the source of their pain.
Bruises, iniquities, the old wounds that we almost forget about until someone knocks into them, are the hardest to get over. They are the ones we hold onto and caress like a little child. The ones we bring out at holidays and birthdays and special occasions to nurse until no one around can ignore the pain they cause. When we do this we pay more attention to the bruise than to the Healer. (Matthew 9:35) Our job as the body is to remember why Jesus came, and to share that reason with the hurting. (John18:37, Romans 9:16-17) He came to heal the broken hearted, to bind up their wounds, and to set them free!
So, when we encounter that individual that is actively holding on to hurt and blaming the Church body and God for their pain, what should we say? What should we show? I believe it is the transparent and transforming love of Christ active in our lives we should show and we should say, “No matter your pain, no matter your hurts, I know the Great Physician and you need His attention. You are not well… come here. Come to get loved on, come to get taught, come to get your wounds bound up and come here to get well!”
What say you?