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Unforgiveness and Sickness

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Recently I read a tirade by a Christian minister against a group of prominent TV teachers and while I don’t watch them myself, I knew this screed would only bring judgment on the critic.

Years ago Bob Mumford warned us about criticizing a man’s wife. Even if the man is not especially happy with his wife, he won’t approve your lambasting her – after all, she was HIS choice. In the same way, it is not a good idea to criticize God’s choice in His people and his ministers. We are, eventually, the Bride of Christ and His Choice. We’d best not be giving God grief about his “wife.”

There is an obscure scripture about this issue which few preach on, but it is appropriate here.

1 Corinthians 11:29-32 (PHILLIPS) No, a man should thoroughly examine himself, and only then should he eat the bread or drink of the cup. He that eats and drinks carelessly is eating and drinking a judgment on himself, for he is blind to the presence of the Lord’s body.
30 It is this careless participation which is the reason for many feeble and sickly Christians in your church, and the explanation of the fact that many of you are spiritually asleep.
31-32 If we were closely to examine ourselves beforehand, we should avoid the judgment of God. But when God does judge us, he disciplines us as his own sons, that we may not be involved in the general condemnation of the world.

The message of this passage is, examine yourself, not others. One way you can be blind to the presence of the Lord’s Body is to deny certain people communion, either as a minister, or as a congregation, or yourself. It’s bad enough when the devil attacks the believers; we should not be joining in. Many Roman Catholics do this as a matter of practice but not all.

Congregations today are a mixture of true and false. But we are told that as the end draws near, the angels will separate false from true and when Jesus returns the false wheat burns up in fires while the true wheat is stored in its own barn, ready to feed a dying world.

God knows who are His

But you may not know this. Meanwhile we are told to keep quiet about our opinions. If there is a false teacher among us, we are told to preach the Word of God and let the flock make up its own mind. Trees are known by their fruits, not their toots.

In 1987 I attended a conference at a church in Indiana. The minister complained endlessly about the fellow ministers who called him a “false prophet” and many other not-so-nice names. I was struck by the bitter unforgiveness in his heart. When King David was cursed by Shimei he brushed it off, saying, perhaps the Lord has sent him. David went along his way as though nothing had happened. But this man was a verbal dump of invective.

Unforgiveness is a form of suicide

Three years later I met a man from Ohio who knew this minister personally; he had died abruptly. I can’t say it was any shock to me. Joyce Meyer defines unforgiveness this way – “taking poison to kill someone else, but it kills you.” People in the ministry know that forgiveness heals and unforgiveness kills. Unforgiveness is a form of suicide.

I have another friend who sees at least two doctors a week. She is in constant pain most of the time, BUT she never attends church. She has disobeyed the command to “not forsake coming together with believers.” Without a church, neither can she take communion; many people are healed in a communion service. She never fasts; fasting can bring about healing. She is not recognizing the Lord’s Body, esp. as it relates to the communion bread and wine.

We simply don’t know the whole story about other people

Another case of not recognizing the Lord’s Body occurred recently when a minister told some teenagers they could no longer work helping the AV ministry. NO explanation was given. These young men are (I know them) true believers and an asset to the congregation.

Shabby treatment by the senior pastor means he does not know who he is messing with. This man also has no group of four persons to whom he answers – he is the top dog and the only dog in his church. His behavior borders on a mental condition.

Nothing speaks of failure more than a “lone ranger” minister. There is a long line of ministerial failures; about every ten years a truly scandalous event comes along to expose a prominent minister who is siting alone on the top of a pile. It happened to King David!

Isolation from the Body of Christ can and does lead to misery, and sickness so  caution about your words is best lest in the end you must eat them.


Be sure your children know how important forgiveness is to their mental health.


  1. Praise God!!! for His healing within us, when our “churchly” Shepherd hurts us as a flock, instead of protecting us…

  2. This is a wonderful article. I wish that everyone it pertains to would read it and be convicted as I don’t believe many mature Christians are without sin in this regard. There are so many wonderful pastors now choosing not to answer to any early person or persons, while many of the remainder of us have a tendency to criticize our overseers about a multitude of issues. Often we may be right however it is dangerous. Once the Lord clearly spoke to me in such a situation. Although there was a spiritual spanking that I won’t elaborate on He basically said for me to stay in my place and that He would take care of what needed to be corrected in that situation. He did, just as swiftly as He corrected me.

  3. For 2 years now I’ve had almost no responses to the mini-articles I write and yet this one generates two of them, and I am up at 4 a.m. to see this so soon. I must conclude that this is a more prevalent problem than I had assumed. It should be connected to my writing on Christian Bullies. Kim Clement of California has been speaking on this issue too. For several months he insists that Christian ministers are making things worse by bringing judgment upon America for her sins. Bless, he says, do not curse. Bad enough the devil is in the cursing business that we should follow along. I hope you will check him out at KimClement.com.

  4. It is embarrassing to me to hear folks be critical of the pastor who may be young, inexperienced, overworked with little children of his own, or simply extremely shy. One other I saw castigated, a woman, was humiliated and after 5 years service, dismissed with no explanation as to the offense. This is destructive and damaging to her soul. God Bless those who hear and listen to the Word and offer compassion and patience to even the leadership.

  5. Linda, I am philosophical about this. If someone kicks me out, I do believe God does not want me there. The sin rests up those who do the kicking, and one must learn to move on.

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