I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. (2 Cor. 2:8)

TYLENOL REDUCES THE EMOTIONAL PAIN of rejection. That sounds incredible, 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 lingers. Human beings are able to recall emotional pain more readily and more vividly than physical pain. We have a powerful need to belong, so being cast out of any group 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 is an author, thinker, and believer in the power of God. He is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy (WPH) and co-author of The Long Road Home (WPH).