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Do Unto Others?

I met a lady the other day who claimed to be a devoted Christian, but who hasn’t been to church in years. I originally thought those two things couldn’t go together, but I think I was wrong. As it turns out, she was shunned from a church when she was in her early twenties because she developed a mental illness. After being diagnosed as Bi-polar, she was forbidden to work with the high-school youth group–her one passion! Unable to use her gifts and very uncomfortable with the church leadership, she left and never returned. Interestingly enough, she still lives only a few blocks from the same church. The pastor has long since been replaced, but her pain still runs deep. Although I can understand her being asked not to work with the youth, it sounds like she wasn’t treated very well. Was there nothing else she could help with? As Christians, we must always be careful of the way we treat our brothers and sisters. How much love and support could this woman have returned to the church if she had been treated fairly? How much love and support could “we” [the Body of Christ] have afforded her in her time of need. Did Jesus come only to heal the well? Certainly not, He came to heal the sick! We’ve been commanded to carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), not to treat people like a twice-read Sunday paper.

“If anyone has caused grief… The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him [or her], so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him… in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:5-11

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