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Treasure Digest: Caring for the Wounded

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Treasure Digest

Caring for the Wounded

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Have you ever considered how messy, smelly and uncomfortable it must have been for the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37 Luke 10:30-37 [30] And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. [31] And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. [32] And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. [33] But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, [34] And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. [35] And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said to him, Take care of him; and whatever you spend more, when I come again, I will repay you. [36] Which now of these three, think you, was neighbor to him that fell among the thieves? [37] And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus to him, Go, and do you likewise.
American King James Version×
) to take care of the man who was robbed? It's easy to see why people with fine sensibilities might shudder and pass by instead of trying to lift and carry someone who has been beaten bloody and senseless—who perhaps has emptied the contents of bowels, bladder and stomach all over himself. In the parable, the priest and the Levite go out of their way to avoid the wounded man and don't even try to help.

A Christian who suffers chronic discouragement can be as unpleasant to be around as that wounded man in the parable must have been. It's very hard to fight spiritual battles when you are emotionally crawling along the ground. This may be why Paul encouraged the Corinthians to prove their love for their repentant brother—so that he would not be swallowed up in despair and fall prey to the devil (2 Corinthians 2:7-8 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 [7] So that contrariwise you ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. [8] Why I beseech you that you would confirm your love toward him.
American King James Version×
, 11).

Pitching in to care for a wounded brother or sister in the Church can be very uncomfortable. When someone is struggling with deep discouragement—and is asking the question, "Does God still love me?"—we ought to show him by our behavior that the answer is "Yes—God loves you and we love you."

This may take us out of our comfort zone and even inconvenience us. Depending on how long a person has lived in the prison of discouragement, it may take a very long time for the truth of our love and God's love for the discouraged brother to be heard and trusted as genuine. But like a gentle rain soaking into sun-baked, iron-hard ground, love and care will have its effect, and bear fruit in due time.

A person who feels uncared for will spiral deeper into despair, but active displays of care and interest by the brethren can help restore a faltering Christian's faith in our love and God's love.

The gift of encouragement can lift a struggling brother back to his feet and enable him to resume growing. It is our duty to our brothers and sisters in the Church. "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves" (Romans 15:1 Romans 15:1We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
American King James Version×
, KJV). This is part of learning to love as God loves.

Christ commanded us to love one another as He loves us (John 13:34 John 13:34A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
American King James Version×
; 15:12). We must learn not to pass by on the other side of the street, but to roll up our sleeves and take care of our sisters and brothers when they have been struck down by the enemy.