“Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?” (1 Cor. 5:2).

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope” (1 Thess. 4:13).

There are things about which we should grieve and things about which we should not grieve. In the first category is sin in the body, the church. In the second category is the death of those who die in the Lord. Like many things, we have these backwards. Sin in the body should cause the whole body pain.

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Cor. 12:26).

Let us ask God for a conscience that reflects the sin of the whole body, not just our own private sin. Let us also ask for a great joy for those who go on ahead to be with Christ.


Written September 1984.