Please allow me to speak openly for a moment. What I have to say is not based strictly upon the ongoing saga of my physical condition or dealing with a level 10 migraine my wife has had for two day. What I have to say is not a reaction to the intense battles some on this site are going through with cancer, tumors and other very serious health concerns. What I have to say is not because of any one thing but rather a combination of situations all happening at once.
Many of us came from ministries that put a strong emphasis on healing. Many of us were instructed long ago that if you get sick, injured, depressed or fall into financial ruin it is because of sin. Many of us have been so filled with the doctrine that problems of any kind are the direct result of mistakes made and that the key to resolving those problems lies in confessing one’s sins etc.
Although there are absolutely times and situations where this is true, to make blanket statements and lump all people and all concerns together is absurd. I have said for years that the worst thing Christianity does to Christians is to condemn them and make them feel like ugly weasels or wicked wretches. Emphasizing one’s sins or shortcomings does nothing to help a person deal with a medical or financial emergency.
Jesus Christ gave His life for our redemption from sin and the consequences of sin. When we get saved, we receive remission of sins and become the very righteousness of God in Christ (who is in us). Unfortunately we will continue to fall short of God’s standard of perfection the rest of this earthly life. This is why I John assures us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive them and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If bad things are not supposed to happen to great believers, why did Paul repeatedly receive beatings? Why did Paul get stoned and left for dead? Why did Paul travel with his own personal physician (Luke)? Why did Paul write Timothy urging him to drink a little wine for his stomach and his OFTEN infirmities?
One of Paul’s most trusted brothers and companions was Epaphroditus. This great man became very sick and almost died. Please look at what Paul said about him and his situation in Philippians 2:27:
“For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow .”
The reason Epaphroditus got healed was GOD’S MERCY and the fervent prayers of the believers. Healing is a gift according to I Corinthians 12 and anytime it happens we should rejoice and throw a party instead of dragging someone who doesn’t receive healing through the sewer of condemnation and rejection.
Some of us are living breathing epistles of God’s amazing mercy as He stepped in and snatched us from the jaws of death. Those of us who have been rescued have the responsibility to share our stories and help others to know of the power, love, grace and MERCY of God. The next time you hear of someone going through a tough stretch, instead of secretly condemning them, pray to God for MERCY that He would intercede on their behalf and take care of them.
There is far too much judging going on in the Body of Christ and far too little compassion. We all really need to get off of our high horses and find a leper to hug. Unless we are willing to walk among, minister to and humble ourselves to serve those in life’s greatest pain; we are just “sounding brass and tinkling cymbals”.