Paul gives us a simple model for healing church hurts in a short paragraph in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.
“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him… If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:5-11).
I don’t know how you read this, but I read a lot of pain in these words. The body has been wounded. People have been hurt. Pain is everywhere. And it needs to be healed.
This passage reminds me of the statement by Alexander MacLaren: “Please be kind to everyone you meet because everyone is fighting a battle.”
Most people’s battles aren’t obvious. We know that a person with a cast on his/her arm is hurt and will be well in six weeks or so. On the other hand, I can quietly mention one name to some people and bring tears to their eyes.
Every Christian will eventually be wounded in church—and in many other places as well.
How do we heal a wounded individual or a church body?
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