READ: Psalm 108 & 109

THINK: A Detroit newspaper reported that a patient in a local hospital was shot and killed as he lay in his bed recovering from a previous gunshot wound. The victim had been listed in fair condition prior to the shooting and was looking forward to going home. Hospital patients and employees were stunned. A spokesperson said that nothing like this had happened in the 50 years of the hospital’s existence.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could say the same for our churches? Wouldn’t it be encouraging if we were able to say that in 50 years of meeting together for worship, fellowship, and spiritual healing, we had not had a single instance of a wounded member being cut down by the unkindness of a fellow Christian?

Many among us have experienced the pain that David expressed in Psalm 109. When he was hurt and vulnerable, insensitive people took advantage of him. Certainly, if he had sinned, he needed their loving correction. What he didn’t need was their scorn, gossip, and selfish neglect.

Who shoots his foot after stubbing his toe? No one in his right mind. Neither should anyone with the mind of Christ act unmercifully toward a wounded brother or sister in the body of Christ. Rather, we must “show mercy” (v.16). A hurting person needs a helping hand, not an accusing finger.

– Mart DeHaan in Our Daily Bread

PRAY: The prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

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