I know I sure did. I expect people who don't claim to be Christians to react unkind, unloving, deceitful, etc., but when it's a fellow Christian, it's even more painful. Not that being 'un-Christian' dulls the pain, but it's more difficult when it comes from "the family.' That's what today's sermon was about. Loving the unloveable--in the church.
It's unfortunate that some Christians feel a certain self-righteousness and spiritual pride (a/k/a a "religious spirit") when they see a brother/sister fall on his/her face. As the pastor said today, "It's not our responsibility to sit in judgement and look for opportunities to kick someone when they're down. It's our responsibility to love them through the situation and allow God to bring the conviction."
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God's] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.
--Romans 12:19-20, AmplifiedWhat did Paul mean by "heap burning coals upon his head"? You may be thinking, that doesn't sound forgiveness--much less love. Sounds like revenge to me! Actually, it's not revenge; it's a act of love. How?
During Biblical times, it was common for people to "always keep the home fires burning" (if you will), providing warmth and a means of cooking food. It was common for people to carry things on their heads to transport them, and in some countries, people still do that. So if the home fire dwindled, they would take a brazier and go to a neighbor's house to borrow coals. A generous neighbor would fill it to the brim, helping to meet the need.
You may not feel like it, but you have to love the unloveable past your pain. God commands it: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Read and meditate: Leviticus 19:17-19; Matthew 19:18-20; and Luke 10:26-28.
Think: Who fits the bill as "unloveable"? Have I forgiven that person?
Act: Find a way to react in love.