by Ray Harmer
If you have lived any amount of time you have been hurt by someone. We have grown to expect this from our world. David was hurt many times. Let us use Ps. 55:13-14 as an example, “But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together and walked unto the house of God in company.” David was hurt by a “churchgoer”.
There is no pain like that. One feels betrayed and violated. We may think we are not capable of this type of behavior, but inside all of us resides a sinful nature. The old saying is that the devil comes to church every Sunday (believe me he does) and we have to make sure he does not ride with us! Not everyone comes to church with the right attitude. Most church splits, and other sundry problems, start with one malcontent person.
Imagine this same situation today. I attend any church in any town U.S.A. and after months of gaining trust and friends someone said, what I thought, to be a hurtful thing. Instead of going to God with it (as David did) I go home, stew, blame all Christians, label them hypocrites and never return to church. Even worse, I start sowing discord in a church.
God says woe to those who betray our trust and sow discord. We see in Pr. 6:16-19, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” We must not let the last four words be said of us!
How can we avoid a wrong attitude? We need to attend church with a loving spirit. I always offered this advice. Believe that nobody would willingly hurt us or our feelings in church. Of course, this is not foolproof, but it is a great start. Likewise, “we” need to be loving and resist negative thoughts toward the brethren. We need to follow David’s example if we find ourselves hurt, whether real or perceived, in Ps. 55:16-17, “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” A great memory verse to go to in these troubling times is Ps. 56:3-4, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” God give us the ability to resist the Evil One and the grace to love the brethren as ourselves. Allow us to see our own faults and never let it be said that we harmed a sister or brother. Let us go to church for its intended purpose-to worship the Great One!