Friday, November 13, 2009

Stand for Compassion, Part 5

In this last blog on compassion I want to address the need for compassion for our Christian wounded. Now, in many ways that could be each of us. We're all damaged goods in some sense, and we need to keep that in mind to help us maintain perspective. But what I'm mainly concerned with here is that category of wounded we often tend to treat like a horse with a broken leg. It's not pretty, and it's not a good reflection on the One who has called us to be instruments of mercy, healing, reconciliation, and grace.

So what am I talking about? I'm talking about persons who fall into grievous and public disgrace, whatever the circumstances. It could be related to finances, marital failure, or sexual immorality. It could be problems with "Bud" or "Wild Turkey". It could be a false accusation of misconduct that never gets put to rest properly. We often sweep these people aside. Oh, we let them come and occupy a pew, but we can't let them have an office in the church, no matter what kind of track record they have of demonstrated repentance. They have committed what amounts to an "unpardonable" sin in the eyes of the church.

I had a friend, now gone to be with the Lord, who, before he was saved, had a terrible drinking problem (smoked, too). God delivered him from both, and called him to preach. He spent most of his life in small churches or planting Hispanic missions. One church interviewed him, and the interview went great until they found out he was a recovering alcoholic. Never mind that he had been clean and sober for twenty years. They couldn't have a pastor who was an alcoholic, even though he was in recovery.

How does your church treat those who are the Lord's wounded? Are they second-class members or does your church look for ways to bring healing and restoration to their lives. Christ died to make them whole, too. If the ground is level at the cross, then it is level for all God's people. Work to bring recovery to God's fallen soldiers and take a stand for real compassion.

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