Welcome, brothers and sisters, to Day 18 of the Sword Training Challenge. Our readings today are Psalm 86-90 and Proverbs 18. The verses that stand out to me are Proverbs 18:14 and 19.
Verse 14 says, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but the wounded spirit who can bear?”
Verse 19 says, “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”
These two verses, remind me of the wounded soldiers in God’s Army – wounded Christian soldiers. There are lots of them out there, saints. I’ve mentioned it before in my podcast. There are Christian soldiers lying wounded and dying on the battlefield. In a lot of cases, those wounds were caused by people in the church, whether it be fellow Christians in the congregation, leaders in the church, pastors, etc. They’ve been hurt by their brothers and sisters in Christ, and those wounds don’t heal easily.
When I hear somebody say, “I don’t have to be in church to be a Christian”, I hear somebody that’s been wounded by fellow believers. When I hear, “I don’t go to church because it’s full of hypocrites,” I hear somebody who’s been wounded by fellow believers, maybe even their pastors. I’ve been there. There was a time that I walked away from the church, cursing at God on my way out because I had been deeply wounded by the pastoral staff of my church. I’m not the only one to experience pastoral abuse. Many years ago, I attended a friend’s wedding in which the pastor took the opportunity to preach a sermon. During his message, he revealed something about the couple that was very personal – something he had no business sharing with the congregation. The couple was stunned, and very hurt by this pastor’s actions. These are the types of things that cause people to not want to come back to the church and be part of the body. These are the wounded soldiers.
When our spirit is wounded. It takes time to heal, and during that time we don’t want to be around anyone that may have been involved in the wounding. That means we don’t go to church. Verse 19 says a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city. It’s true, and it can be extremely hard to get that brother, that wounded soldier, back into communion with the rest of the Body of Christ.
A missing soldier affects the whole Body because we need that soldier in the battle. We need their giftings just like they need our giftings. So, spend some time today thinking about any wounded Christian soldiers that you may know. Pray for them that they may receive healing from the Lord. You may even be wounded, yourself. If so, I say don’t forsake the church because others do it badly. The rest of the body needs your talents. The Scripture tells us to forgive those who have hurt us, and by the power of the Holy Spirit that’s in us, we can do it. Sometimes that’s a daily thing, but we have to forgive. Ask the Lord to show you how to forgive those that hurt you. He’ll do it. Then you, or the wounded soldier you’re praying for, can get back into the battle.
That’s my word for today, saints. May the Lord bless you and keep you!