Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stop Shooting the Wounded!

This weekend at church I heard the most profound statement:

"The Church is the only army where we shoot the wounded when they have fallen."

Ouch! That one short sentence pierced my heart. Sadly, in many cases, it is true. Not always, of course; there are countless Christians filled with the Spirit and overflowing with His love and grace. However, let's get honest, shall we?

Ever heard a friend confess a secret sin and thought -- Wow I'd NEVER do that! We remain encouraging on the outside, yet, internally, we are judging, condemning, and comparing.

Worse yet, what about the wounded soldier who asks for help with his/her woundedness following a fall? -- They have admitted their sin yet we continue to point the finger even adding pain to the injury.

Sometimes in our zeal to wipe out sin, we brutally "kill" the sinner. That person ends up leaving the church and we become the hypocrites the world so readily calls us. Yet, are they really so far from the truth?

Picture a fallen soldier in Iraq. He made a mistake and entered a place he wasn't supposed to and ended up gunned down by a stealth enemy. His comrades find him laying in a pool of blood.

"Go on. Shoot him! He didn't follow directions. He deserves to die," the commander orders.

"But, Sir? -- " A confused soldier questions. "He's one of us, one of our own."

"Not anymore, Soldier. Look at him. Laying there in the mess of his mistake. Stop stalling. Shoot him!"

Sound ridiculous? It should. God commands us to love our enemies, to love our brothers and sisters before even attempting to worship Him. Why in the world would we continue to harm the hurting?

Oh, but, Carol, what about The Truth? We don't want to be soft on sin, do we?

Let me just say that when I first came to church and accepted Jesus Christ, I was a mess. I'd been living in satan's grasp, under his control for years. Those first few years in the church, I stumbled and fell ... a lot. This was a new way of life. It took time. Thankfully, the people around me made clear the consequences of sin, yet loved me in the process. I never felt attacked. Slowly, with much love and grace, I began to see tangible evidence of my Savior's love for me. Sinning became harder as my love increased. Eventually, God moved this fallen soldier to the front line as one of His Princess Warriors.

Friends, we all sin. We all fall short. Can you imagine the impact we'd have on the world if we loved and encouraged more? We are not only an army, but a spiritual hospital. Just like the army offers medical care for fallen soldiers, so should we. What a waste when we harm our own. We tarnish the treasured positions Christ has placed us in. We start to look just like the world. Friends, we should not look like vultures waiting for our wounded to die so we can devour them, we should be loving them back to health.

You know something ... every time I judge someone, it seems that at some point I face that same situation I was so quick to judge. That very temptation comes knocking at my own door, and quite frankly, I, too, have failed tests. Thank goodness, thank God, I have a safe place to regain my dignity and hope, a place to refuel so I can get back in the battle -- on the right side.

I wonder how many fellow warriors have defected over enemy lines simply because of the harsh treatment dished out by their supposed comrades --by us -- the Body of Christ.

Maybe if we spent a little more time looking in the mirror of our own lives we would be less inclined to spend so much time examining everyone elses, like the the princess in the above picture kneeling to peer into her own heart.

Instead of raising our weapons on our own, let us instead bandage them with love and forgiveness, leading them in truth, not beating them with it. Let's model our Leader, Jesus Christ.

That's right ... drop the rocks.

1 comment:

Shalene said...

"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stones." You betcha, Jesus said it best.... And what you said is all too true, instead of loving our wounded back to health, we beat them when they're down. We forget that we are to love them, even as we hate the sin. That seems to be such a hard concept for anyone to grasp- even Christians. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know that I'm in complete agreement. (In fact I just recently did a post about loving the person, yet not the sin. It was a specific sin, but the concept was prevalent nonetheless.) Blessings to you!!