Imagine that a pastor has been called to the bedside of a wealthy, but very sick, man. He earnestly requested that the pastor pray that he would have his health restored so that he could live. The pastor refused.
In great consternation the sick asked him why? The answer greatly disturbed him.
“Many people have spurned our church because you come there, enthusiastically sing the songs and go through the motions but it is hypocritical. Your employees complain about unfairness, your family barely tolerates you, and you are unscrupulous with your customers. This community would be better off if you died.”
This frank and seemingly brutal approach brought a look of terror to the face of the sick man. If he died now and had to face all that before the Judge of all the earth it would go very badly for him. All his wealth and power would be of no help. It brought him to sincere repentance with many tears. Then the pastor was able to pray for him, he did survive and made big changes in his life.
Truth sometimes hurts before it heals.