“This might hurt a little” was what the doctor told me as he began attacking a cyst in my armpit. It turns out that this was a classic understatement. It actually hurt a lot.
It seems to be a universal law that there is some measure of pain when corrective action needs to be taken to restore health. Those of us who are old enough to have had our scrapes and cuts treated with Mercurochrome can remember the sting associated with having that reddish liquid applied to our wounds.
But like our willingness to endure pain to get our physical wounds healed, we also need to be willing to be confronted where we need spiritual healing.
This highlights the importance of being in fellowship. While it not impossible for my sin to be confronted by my personal prayer and Bible study, it is more likely to happen as a result of my relationships.
The two social institutions that God has provided for us are the family and the church. In either or both of these institutions our selfishness and pride will be exposed and confronted.
While you cannot chose your family and most people would opt out of family relationships only under very extreme circumstances. In 21st Century America, we often have a much different philosophy about church.
It is easy for us to have a consumer mentality about picking a church. If we don’t like the preaching style, worship style, youth group, etc. it is too easy to move to the next church down the street. While there is nothing wrong with having preferences, the danger is that we can avoid healthy discomfort by moving on.
Any of us that have sat under Biblical preaching for any length of time have felt the sting when Scripture confronts us in areas of idolatry or rebellion. We need to have the discipline to find and stay with a church that will faithfully put us in position to be confronted by Scripture.
We need a prophetic voice.