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Wounds: Aray mo, Aray ko. Tagumpay mo, Tagumpay ko.

By Pastor Alex Ruelo

The wounds of the members of the church are also the wounds of the church and its leaders. That is the reason they are members; they are not alone. Everyone is included. On the day you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior , we became one family. John 8:44 says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The devil has his own family, but when you accept Jesus into your life, you become a part of His family. When you accepted that faith, you were given the privilege to become a part of God’s kingdom.

2 Corinthians 2:5-11 says, “If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” Paul is saying that there is someone in the church who is hurting its members. As a leader, he is also hurt. But he is saying that now is the time to forgive him because he might be discouraged. In 1 Corinthians 5:1, it says, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.” This is the sin of the man in the previous verse. The whole church is affected and so are the people around it. When you are part of the family of Christ, the entire body of Christ hurts too. But when a member of the church is victorious, the entire church also celebrates with them because they are part of one family.

What do people expect in a church?

  1. A perfect family

  2. A place to achieve growth and positively impact the wider community

  3. An environment for spiritual transformation

  4. A reliable safe space to rest in and trust upon

  5. A place that teaches and equips for daily life

It hurts when these expectations are not met because the picture f the church is perfect. But it is not. When a member makes a mistake, or when a pastor makes a mistake, even God is blamed. Many expectations are not met and the members become wounded.  Charles Spurgeon once said, “Satan always hates Christian fellowship. It is his policy to keep Christians apart. Anything which can divide saints from one another, he delights in. He attaches far more importance to Godly intercourse than we do. Since union is strength, he does his best to promote separation.” The strategy of satan is divide and conquer. If satan sees that your church is victorious in reaching out to people outside of it, he wants to destroy that so that the word of God will stop spreading.

There are 3 things where wounds come from:

  1. Self-inflicted wounds - when people sin, it hurts their relationship with others and with the church. (1 Corinthians 5:1) This draws them far away from God and with each other.

  2. Casualties of War - many people are hurt because of the mistakes of others (2 Corinthians 2:5) In war, many innocent people die because of others fighting. Be careful in making decisions in life. Make sure that no one is affected by it.

  3. Leader wounds -  Leaders and members are the same; it’s just that a leader has a bigger responsibility when he makes a mistake. If you become a church leader, expect an attack all the time and be more watchful.  (Acts 15:36-41) Leaders are people and people are flawed. They will disappoint you too.

If your pastor makes a mistake, he is not your enemy. The body of Christ is not your enemy; the devil is. He wants to divide Christians and he makes ways. When you allow him to do that, he wins.

Be reminded that:

  1. Conflict is guaranteed - Luke 17:1 says, “Then He said to the disciples, “it is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they come.” Lower your expectation and appreciate more. Proverbs 19:11 says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

  2. Repent and forgive - When you make a mistake, apologize right away. Stop making excuses and accept your offense. (2Corinthians 2:6-8) You are the one who benefits when you forgive. You are released from your cage.

  3. Obey the word - James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Jesus died for your sins so that all your sins may be forgiven. Forgive the offenses of others so that you may have peace that surpasses all understanding. Release yourself and be free.

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