“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent – not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.” – 2 Corinthians 2:5-8
Sometimes, we get too preoccupied with showing how much we love God by getting religious things done not knowing that we are already missing out on His second commandment: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
As Christians, we must not only have that burden to, time and time again, affirm and confirm our love for Christ (because He first loved us but we also must be constantly compelled to love others as we love ourselves. Note the phrase “as we love ourselves.” Apparently, the love-others command goes beyond everything that is superficial. We need to understand that people are as real as we are, and that they have real emotions too.
We cannot just go on fulfilling the Great Commission not knowing that the people we are working with have already become what I would choose to call “spiritual zombies” – people who have that intense desire to do what Christ wants them to do and could not just stop for a while even if they are in themselves shattered, depressed, and broken. We need to know who these people are. We need to be sensitive to their needs.
Real people have real emotions and together with the knowledge of the sufficient grace of God, they would need other real people who would choose to understand that it is okay to have these emotions. We are humans. We cannot cease to be such. When God called and chose us to be His children, it was never part of His plan to strip us of our human attributes. Instead, He patiently reveals to us His grace and mercy by constantly working on our imperfections. His power is made perfect when He is able to create in us a beautiful being despite our horrible beginnings.
If we desire to possess Christ-likeness, we always need to yearn for Him to teach us how He loves. We need to get serious about wanting to carry each other’s burdens. What we need here is wisdom and understanding and discernment.
Again, I say : Real people have real emotions and one of the ways in which they could confirm the realness of our God is when they have real people who would listen to and commit to pray for them.