Scenario: A sweet wonderful woman who loves God with her whole heart and loves his people is dying of cancer. She is entering hospice care. She belongs to a stream of faith that does not actively seek after healing. She posts that her doctors can do nothing more for her, all the treatments she has undergone over several years through natural and alternative medicines have failed. She tells us she is entering into hospice and is seeking to dwell a place of peace. She asks for prayer for her family and herself as she makes this transition.
So what happens? A bunch of people who hardly know her private message her and reply to her post of FaceBook, openly chastising her for her lack of faith, or perhaps there is sin there, or she isn’t eating properly…or .. or… or.
Those of us who would have loved to minister life to her heart and body now had to tiptoe through a minefield of wounds that others inflicted upon her because of their immaturity.
I have to tell you, as a person who lives with a disability and who is often around misguided people like this, it HURTS. Such comments do NOT build faith, they only serve to push me away and raise doubts in my mind. I don’t feel convicted by such chastisements, I feel condemned. I KNOW God heals, I have had the joy of seeing many people as I have prayed with them. I am a card-carrying Holy Ghost believing, tongues speaking, radical lover of all God is doing on the earth today.
I have a group of trusted friends who God has placed around me who are excellent at spotting those who might wound me in their attempts to heal me. It’s pretty evident I am disabled, even from a distance, as I walk with heavy braces and have hand deformities as well as wasted muscles in my face. When my friends spot someone approaching me with anything less than love, compassion, and faith, they come alongside me and pray with me afterwards especially if I feel that I have been ‘slimed’ by that person’s condemnation. They remind me I am the much beloved daughter of the King and that I am not merely a potential badge on someone’s ‘boy scout healing’ shirt. When the Lord gives me a word to share in a public meeting, or He leads me to minister to someone in a more public setting, I stand out even more. Oh, look there is a crippled prophet lady, wow, wouldn’t I be something else if I healed her!
However, not everyone is as blessed as I. Many have been wounded multiple times by immature believers who have blamed the inflicted for their illnesses or their unhealed bodies. No wonder many disabled and chronically ill believers struggle to healing is God’s intention for their life. It is hard to have faith in the goodness of God when you are barraged by condemnation and disappointment.
If someone is NOT healed, I don’t turn into the “Miss Marple of the Charismatics” trying to uncover ‘who did what ‘ or ‘who didn’t do what’ to cause the disease.
Jesus made it clear he wasn’t into the ‘blame game.’ He just wanted to see people healed and restored.
Unless you have decades under your belt in the prophetic tread very very carefully. The truth is, the longer you’ve been walking in the prophetic, the more gifted you become in the art of tenderly caring for the hearts of those who have already been bruised by condemnation. We are taught to go after the GOLD and not weigh the dirt.
The Christian journey is NOT a mystery novel where we can expect to have all the answers all neatly wrapped up. If you can’t live with the fact that there will be mysteries in the kingdom of God that we can’t figure out, then you will probably be doing a heck of a lot more damage than good. Those who desperately need His touch and who are still living in the hope of the healing that is not-yet in their lives need our support and not our criticism or rebuke.
Unless you are a gifted and experienced counsellor, have a good long chat with God before daring to approach another believer about what you think you discerned as sin in their lives. If after that long chat with God, you still feel the urge to ‘convict’ a fellow believer of their lack of faith, unforgiveness, or doubt, make sure you do so in the most humble, non-assuming way possible. And stay low. It will help you duck to avoid any fiery missiles launched at you if the person is not as receptive as you expected them they might be.
©2017 Katherine Walden
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