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‘The Lord is our great physician, the church our hospital’

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Heinrich Lourens, zone pastor, CRC Welkom. Foto: Supplied

In my few years of ministry, I have frequently come across people I refer to as “burned stones” – people who have been hurt or have left church because of an offence or some personal issue.

The reason why I refer to them in this manner can be found in Nehemiah chapter 4. It speaks of stones that were once part of a great wall; stones that, due to war and destruction, have been burned and heaped up as rubbish.

Maybe I’m speaking to you today. Maybe you have forsaken the idea of church because of hurt caused by a pastor or a fellow member who offended you. Maybe you and your family have now chosen to remain at home, serving God by yourself.

Someone avoiding church because of people who have hurt them is like someone suffering an illness avoiding a hospital. The church is fundamentally a hospital where you will find people suffering from different illnesses. The degree of their illnesses vary, and they are in need of different levels of treatment. In the same hospital you will find those who are in need of 24/7 care and those who are admitted for mild treatment.

I would like to make us aware that we all are inherently emotionally or spiritually ill and in need of chronic treatment.

The Lord is our great physician; our specialist. The treatment he offers comes through doctors, nurses and hospital staff – also known as pastors, leaders and ministries in the form of his Word, love, encouragement, prayer and care. They are those God has appointed to treat us and prescribe the medicine we need to help us in our healing process.

Although we need to understand that they themselves are not immune to sickness, it should not stop us from seeking help and trusting them to operate or prescribe treatment.

You are always and dearly loved by God! So, robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, do not offend, be patient. Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them (Colossians 3:12-13).

Forgiveness is one of the greatest healing agents the Word prescribes. – Heinrich Lourens is zone pastor of the Christian Revival Church in Welkom

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