A lot of people get hurt in churches, but that shouldn’t surprise us given what the church is: diverse members that are connected in one body. Christian church folk are truly and spiritually connected with one another and because of that we share our pleasures and pains. The Apostle Paul illustrates the implications:
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you”. . . If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 1 Corinthians 12:21, 26
Jerry Bridges unpacks this illustration with a needed correction for how we often deal with hurt and pain within church.
Can you imagine the ear making the following comment to the eye? “Say, did you hear about the serious trouble the foot is having? My, my, isn’t it too bad? That foot surely ought to get his act together.” No, no, our bodies don’t behave that way at all! Instead the entire body cries out, “My foot hurts! I feel awful!”
Why does the whole body hurt when only one part is injured? It is because all the parts of the body make up one indivisible whole. And when one part hurts, no matter what the reason, the restorative powers of the entire body are brought to bear on that hurting member. Rather than attacking that suffering part or ignoring the problem, the rest of the body demonstrates concern for the part that hurts. This is the way the body of Christ should function…
Only as we become acutely aware of the truth that we are in fellowship with every other believer — like it or not — will we seek to work out the implications of that fellowship in loving concern and care for each other.
(Taken from True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia [Kindle Locations 672-673])
Only by realizing we are one through Jesus will we begin to act like as one in Jesus.