Healing Line

Healing Line

Can the Healing Ministry Help Us Become Holy?

by Francis MacNutt
Sep/Oct 2005

This is a word of hope for those of you in the healing ministry. This hope is simply that this wonderful ministry can be a great help in drawing you closer to God.

At first glance this may seem questionable, since the ministry has some obvious pitfalls. The “star” system is an obvious danger. If you have a well–known, popular ministry, there may be the danger of the crowd’s (or even an individual’s) adulation. People may even try to “touch the hem of your garment,” as it were. If you are on the platform, the spotlight will be on you. Some healers dress in a way to attract attention. (And that may not be all bad. Remember Kathryn Kuhlmann?) Spectacular things may happen when you pray. For instance, people may fall over when you pray for them. You may be tempted to take all this attention too seriously.

I remember a conference of Christian leaders I attended with Judith many years ago, and her immediate response to those famous (some of them) leaders whom she never had met before was that they looked like peacocks strutting around, proud of the size and success of their churches and ministries.

So it’s very possible that the healing ministry can become a temptation to pride.

But if we have any real sense of God’s Spirit, the healing ministry should help rather than hinder us in drawing close to God. As soon as we pray, not only in crowds, but for individuals (in hospitals, for example), we have to face the question of why so many wonderful, sick Christians do not seem to be healed. Very soon it becomes clear that we are not in control, but it all depends on God. I think, if we are honest, our pride soon will be destroyed.

Then, when we see the joy on the radiant face of a sick person who has just been healed, we become instantly aware of how good Jesus is and how much he loves us.

I know when I was younger I used to be very critical and judgmental. I had high Christian standards, and it seemed that there were a lot of failing people out there who didn’t even seem to try. I knew Jesus had told us not to judge, but it was hard not to. The evidence of the devastation caused by sin was all around. How could I not judge?

But once you have really gotten into the ministry of inner healing and you hear the stories of God’s wounded people – how they have suffered abuse, how their hearts have been wounded – and how they have been abandoned and rejected, you begin to wonder how they have even managed to survive. You begin to wonder at how well they have done, considering how they have been surrounded by poverty and disastrous relationships. Instead of judging people harshly, you start to praise God for bringing salvation into an apparently hopeless situation. It goes even beyond “There but for the grace of God go I.” Soon it becomes “If I had the kind of life this person had, I probably wouldn’t have made it at all.”

Rather than judging the sin in others, the healing ministry helps us see the sparks of life and hope that most people don’t even glimpse. Instead of lifting us up in pride, the healing ministry should drop us down on our knees in the wonder of how beautifully God’s strength now becomes visible in our human pain and weakness.

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Sep/Oct 2005 Issue