So that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. (1 Cor. 5:5)
I had my first joint-replacement surgery at the tender age of thirty-two. I was not mentally prepared for the demands of recovery. The surgery was more painful than I’d imagined, and the physical therapy was excruciating. The medical team wanted me to lift, flex, and even stand on my leg, just hours after the procedure. The pain was almost unbearable, and I had difficulty complying.
When the doctor arrived for an examination the next day, I expected him to sympathize with my pain. Not so much. Taking hold of my leg firmly, he lifted and dropped it, forcing me to engage the muscles surrounding my knee. I cried out in pain, but he was unmoved and repeated the exercise. Afterward, he explained his rationale. If I didn’t regain full use of the joint within a few days, I likely never would. The therapy was painful, but the goal was not to torture me. It was to ensure my success. Self-pity never helped anyone recover.
Confronting believers who continue to engage in sin is a painful exercise for all involved. It can lead to conflict, hard feelings, even broken relationships. But that is never the point. Though tough love may appear cruel, it is often the best way to ensure the redemption of a wandering soul. Pity never saved anyone.
Pray about a difficult conversation you need to have.
Lawrence W. Wilson lives in rural Indiana where he enjoys cycling, yardwork, and reading a wide assortment of books. He is a freelance writer and editor, and coauthor of The Long Road Home (WPH).
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.