Any parent who survived the preschool years understands something of the magical properties of a Band-Aid. Really, there’s not much to it – a piece of tape over a little square of gauze. The really cool ones have cartoon characters. I have even seen bandages with the guys from Duck Dynasty. But what’s on them matters much less than what they do. Band-Aids can make any booboo feel better. Who knew that adhesive tape and a gauze square could do such a thing? Now, having gone through this stage twice, I’ve learned something about the magic of a Band-Aid. The real power of a Band-Aid isn’t that it makes things heal faster. It isn’t that it makes booboos hurt less. The real power, I have found, is that it covers up the source of the hurt.
It seems that Christians can incur a lot of hurt on this journey through life. Some of it is intentional, some of it isn’t. But the reality is that sin hurts. Now, if you could just go move off in the woods somewhere and be a recluse for the rest of your life, never interacting with other people, you might make it through life without someone sinning against you. The reality is God has created us to be in community. The first thing that God declared “not good” about creation was that man was alone (see Genesis 2:18), so God initiated the family. In the New Testament, God took the biological family and turned it into an expanded family through the community that we call the church. So, the reality is that anyone in Christ is in community. The problem is that this community is filled with people who still have an amazing proclivity for sin! This naturally leads to a substantial opportunity for hurt.
There’s three ways to deal with hurt. The first way is to ignore it. People who ignore hurt often accumulate for themselves a tremendous amount of bitterness. You probably know people who “got hurt” in church and refuse to return. I know far too many husbands who fit this category, leaving their wives to attend church alone. The second way is to retaliate. People who retaliate return sin for sin. They got hurt, so they respond with gossip or slander or other ways to “return the favor.” This results in deep divides within the body, “side-choosing,” and terribly broken relationships.
The third way to deal with hurt is the biblical way. This is how Peter challenges us in 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.” Love in the body of Christ is like the Band-Aid that makes the booboo feel all better. Paul described the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13. There he said love is patient, kind, unselfish, forgiving, and a long list of other characteristics. If Christians will love one another in a biblical way, it is impossible for hurts to lead to bitterness or vengeance.
So, are you bearing some burden of hurt today? If so, then let me encourage you to go to the spiritual first-aid kit, unwrap a love Band-Aid, and let the “healing magic” make that booboo feel all better. You’ll be better off as a result, and the Kingdom will do nothing but benefit. Jesus said it best, “By this all men will know that you’re my disciples, if you love each other (John 13:35).”