Listening to Minister Leon Ivory preach at our First Sunday in June had me both encouraged and reminiscing a little. One of the things it brought to memory was my days playing football. Football was a passion of mine back when I attended high school in the early 90’s. Eventually I got hurt as is the nature of the sport. I remember being helped off the field and my coach asking me a unique question that still resonates with me today. My coach, in his deep voice would asked me “Keir are you hurt or injured”. When I heard the question the first time I thought to myself isn’t it the same? I replied, “What’s the difference coach”? He replied, “Hurt you can still play, but if you have an injury then you need rest and treatment.” Not only does this makes sense in the game of football, but this also applies to our daily walk with Christ.
The church is a team. Jesus is our divine coach and His playbook is the Word of God. We huddle up every Sunday morning to learn new spiritual plays to live by and help others during the week. Followers of Christ will eventually suffer injury. (2 Timothy 3:12). The injuries also occur in different varieties. Some saints are wounded by people in everyday life. Others are hurt by family or situations in their past. Then we have the injuries that happen on the team, or those by other believers in church. Sometimes these are the worse kind of injuries due to people’s expectation of Christians. It is unfortunate that many in the Lord’s church are playing hurt today. In other words they are active in the church but they are wounded. Hurt from a loss love one. Bruised from the sting of a broken relationship. Scarred from issues or demons in their past. No it is not easy being hurt, but here is a shot of praise. You can still PLAY HURT! Matter of fact Jesus specializes in brokenness. So what does the Lord want from those hurting?
Stay in the spiritual game. Here’s How.
5 things you can do when injury is suffered on the spiritual playing field.
1. First, you have to acknowledge you are hurting.
Denial hinders healing.
2. Fight off through faith the drift or retreating spirits that come on you.
Satan is going to employ the kitchen sink strategy. He is going to throw countless darts tipped with poison. That poison will be bitterness, self-pity, apathy, worthlessness and more. Fighting off the devil will take both resistance(James 4:7) and faith (Ephesians. 6:10-16). Be ready to fight and the blessing is this conflict will make you stronger in the faith.
3. Seek the Right Treatment
There are a lot of so-called remedies the devil will put in front of you! Ill advice, unconducive associations, bitter thoughts and non-spiritual avenues will keep you in a hurtful state. Rest and Treatment is needed when a football player suffers injury on the field. On the team I played for, the field house was the place to get treatment. Jesus declared in (Matthew 11:28) that the place to go for spiritual treatment is come to Him. Just because we are hurt doesn’t mean we still can’t play.The right treatment always starts and ends with Jesus.
4. Keep yourself checked in the Hospital
The church is a spiritual hospital and it is imperative (Hebrews 10:25) that we stay with the Lord. Being around other believers, their encouragement, study, praise and worship can do wonders for hurting saints.
5. Continuous Forgiveness
Forgiveness is Christianity 101 and is a must for complete healing. Jesus declares this in (Matthew 18:21-22). The Greek word for forgiveness in this text is “aphiemi“, which means to send away or let go. No single person will ever offend someone 490 times! The principle that Jesus is pointing out that we constantly forgive so as times goes on and the more you send it away(forgive), the pain loses its sting and force over time. When we practice the forgiveness Jesus teaches then we come to a point where the mental or emotional wound no longer touches your spirit.
For your reading and personal study.
Matthew 11:28, Matthew 18:21-22, 2 Timothy 3:12, Hebrews 10:24-25, James 4:7, Ephesians 6:10-16.
In His Awesome Service.
Keir S. Brady is the senior minister of the Central Union Church of Christ, located in Nolanville Texas.
Central Union Church of Christ at Nolanville
100 West Avenue G, Nolanville Texas 76559