George Verwer, founder of the Operation Moblisation shares an interesting article in his book No Turning Back on what to do when a hurt is inflicted on you by a brother or sister in Christ.
1. Keep calm. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Rushing about trying to correct the injury usually causes greater damage.
2. Apply directly pressure of understanding to the wound. What caused the incident? Could you have prevented it? How does the offending party feel? What if things were reversed?
3. Wash the wound thoroughly with kindness to remove all hardness and vindictiveness.
4. Coat liberally with the ointment of love. This will protect from infections of resentment and bitterness.
5. Bandage the injury with forgiveness. This will keep it out of sight until the wound is healed.
6. Don’t take the scab off. Bringing up the subject will re-open the wound. Serious dangers from infection (See No. 4, above) still exist could which could prove fatal spiritually.
7. Beware of painful and touchy self-pity. This is often referred to as withdrawal pains, as the symptom is withdrawing from others, especially the one inflicting the injury. The remedy—accept apologies.
8. Prescription. Take a generous dose of antibiotics from the word of God several times daily, using prayer each time. This has a soothing effect and is a good painkiller.
9. Stay in close contact with the Great Physician at all times. Depend on His strength, joy and peace to help you during convalescence.
10. Full recovery is reached when the patient is restored to complete fellowship and harmony, especially with the offending party.
Over-familiarity often gets a hold in well-bonded and long-term relationships like Christian brotherhood. It steeps the line of respect for brothers and sisters in Christ. Often, though not intended we do things that inflict deep wounds on people around us. Wounds, untended become infected. Infections can lead to diseases and diseases neglected of medication can lead to death. The apostle Paul rightly warned us about it in Galatians 5:13-15(NIV).
Though we should be cautious with over-familiarity we should not let it keep us from enjoying the company of co-believers. Romans 12:10 (NIV) tells us to, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
The Lord wants us to enjoy in full consummation our fellowship with the believers but He wants us to be careful knowing that—though saved, we still fall into the enemy’s traps.
Always carry with you your First Aid!