Most have heard of the mottos of the marine: "Leave no man behind." I like it. I believe, it should also be a motto for us. However, it is a sad case, that in many circles, it is true that they "shoot your own wounded." This saying made its rounds in Christian circles for years.
The premise behind the phrase, is that many Christian people lash out, gossip about, or "shoot" other people who are wounded. They either messed up or are on the receiving end of someone else's mess. I suppose it is human nature, but my heart cries out: "let's go against our human nature." When someone is hurting, whether it is their own fault, or the fault of someone else, let us run to them and help "bandage" them up. Let's not begin to "shoot" them, by our words, actions or silence.
I shared with you a couple of years ago how Kristin, Joe and Jim and I went to Myrtle Beach. I had been struggling with a situation and knowing full well what the probable outcome of that situation would be, and I was heart broken. We were in Ross, a bargain store that Kristin loved, and I looked at a clearance table. A book had fallen under the table. It was not clearance, but affordable, and I knew at the moment I picked it up, it was for me. The title was "Healing is a Choice" by Stephen Arterburn. He being one of my favorite authors, and the word "Healing" caught my eye. God used that book to bring healing to my soul. Like a balm, it soothed me and let me know God was saying: "I'm God, and I've got this." It brought peace.
Many times in our lives, a seemingly bad thing happens. It may be the fault of our own. It may mean be the fault of someone else, and you were a victim. Though I encourage you to not get stuck in the victim mode, but turn that victim mentality into "victory." It may mean you jumped into a mess with both feet. Rising out of the ashes, and getting back up again is indeed God's plan for you. God's plan for the rest of us looking on, is to lend a hand, an ear, a word or a crane if necessary to help one another get out of that pit. And, yes, there comes a time when every person must face the consequences of their own actions, but love it the key to getting them back on track. It may mean "tough love," nevertheless, love is the key. Prayer often unlocks the door to helping us love someone back on the right track. I have experienced, when I pray for someone whom I observe destroying themselves, that God sets love in motion. It may be someone who has done wrong to someone I love. If you are like me, someone can do most anything to me, and I will shrug it off. But you mess with my loved ones, and that's when I get "my back up" as the old timers used to say. However, as I pray for them, I change. I know God is working, even if I cannot see Him working. That's plain and simple.
Here are a few ideas to help someone who is wounded. Think of a battlefield. The person you are looking at is laying wounded and bleeding. What do you do:
1. You apply pressure on the wound, right? Help them stop bleeding, by applying the bandage of scripture. Quoting it to them may not be the answer at this point, but praying the scripture is. Quoting scripture or singing songs to a heavy heart, the Bible says is not the way, but rather: "Weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn." You may be applying pressure to their gaping wound, and they do not even know it, by prayer.
2. Refuse to gossip. Human nature likes to know what we don't know. There are those who glory in another's downfall, but scripture admonishes us to never rejoice at another's calamity.
3. Love them. You may be loving them from a distance or right in their face, depending on how close they will let you into the wounded area. Give them a gift in secret. God's word also says that giving a gift in secret will pacify an angry person. However, if you blare pomp and circumstance when you give that gift, you will intensify the pain, and they will resent you for it.
4. Pray and do not stop. God can do the impossible. He created the body with the amazing ability to heal, and that goes for the human heart as well. I'm speaking both literally and figuratively.
Dear ones, let's not shoot our own wounded, but rather place them upon the stretcher, minister to their wounds, and get them on their feet again. "Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:14
(Kimberly Morgan, MA, is a wife and homeschool mom in Elkins. She is also a counselor for Cornerstone Christian Counseling. Contact her at 304-637-1109.)