I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. (2 Cor. 2:8)
Expanded Passage: 2 Corinthians 2:6–8
Tylenol reduces the emotional pain of rejection. That sounds far-fetched, but according to Psychology Today, in a study testing the hypothesis that rejection mimics physical pain, researchers gave some participants acetaminophen (the generic form of Tylenol) before asking them to recall a painful rejection experience. The people who received the meds reported significantly less emotional pain than those who took a placebo.
Rejection is one of the most powerfully negative things we can experience, and that experience can linger for quite some time. Human beings can recall emotional pain more readily and more vividly than physical pain. We have a powerful need to belong, so being cast out of a group we want to be in produces long-lasting negative emotions.
Perhaps the apostle Paul understood this, because he urged the Corinthian church to welcome back a repentant sinner so that he or she would not be “overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” (2 Cor. 2:7). The pain of being corrected can be overcome far more readily than the pain of being permanently excluded from the group.
When you must correct anyone, be willing to reaffirm your love. Remember that the goal of correction is to restore—not destroy—relationships. Whether correcting a child, student, coworker, or church member, reaffirm your commitment to them and to the relationship. Love is better than Tylenol for relieving emotional pain.
Write an affirming note to someone who has been rejected.
Lawrence W. Wilson lives in rural Indiana where he enjoys cycling, yardwork, and reading. 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®.