Cleaning up some very large bamboo cane along the creek that borders our property, rewarded me with some very fine splinters in one of my fingers. It happened to be the same finger that I shot a nail through, and into the next finger, a couple of years ago. And, a couple of days before I got the bamboo splinters, in that same finger I had already gotten a couple of splinters off an old door I was sanding. The finger painfully swelled and needed surgery to really fix it, but I opted for the antibiotic only from the medical field. After preparation for self-surgery – alcohol, sharp knife, etc., I realized the one set of splinters was broken off too deep for me to deal with, and the bamboo splinters were too fine to even be seen, much less to be dug out. Plus, the pain to dig around so deep – it was way too much. So, I just let it go and continued with the antibiotic. Now, with the month or so that has passed, that finger has a hard knot within it. No doubt, the flesh has encapsulated the cane splinters as the defense mechanism God has set up to deal with such neglect of remedy. Now, there is no pain, just a knot a little less than the size of a black-eyed pea in my finger. I guess it will be there till my dying day.
Here’s the deal. In life we get splinters between us. We’ve all been stuck and we have all stuck somebody with a harsh word, a misunderstanding, a misdeed, and on it goes unlimited. We can go to the heavenly Father and deal with it his way, or we can just let it go and get calloused over the matter. God’s way to deal with offences is that we each humble ourselves before God and before each other. We are to lay the cards on the table of how we either gave offence or were offended. We are to confess our faults one to another. Then, we are to pray for each other. According to the Word, this is what brings about a healing (James 5:14-16). The offence, the splinter, is not just internalized and calloused over. It is removed and real healing takes place, because our mutual trust is placed in God who is the healer. This is how the Master Physician handles it. We might make a shallow apology and live in a calloused condition, but doing it God’s way brings complete healing. Complete healing is better. The offense, the splinter, being calloused over, is a condition of hardness. We want to remain tender toward God and toward each other. Doing it God’s way helps us to be sensitive to God’s needs and desires and to each other’s needs and desires. Jesus Christ paid for us to have overflowing abundant life. Abundant life is living in peace, joy, harmony, and with a mind to love and help one another.