The difference between Cure and Healing

Alice YoungFrontPage, News, Pastor

There is a difference between cure and healing. To offer someone a cure means to fix or resolve their condition. When someone suffers, this would be wonderful news. But is this the same as offering healing? Rev. Frederick Recklau (1993) thesis on healing (and cure) offers a range of ideas on why offering healing is better than a cure, here are a few to reflect on: 

  • Cure may occur without healing; healing may occur without cure.  
  • Cure separates body from soul; healing embraces the whole. [Cure looks at what sort of disease a person has; healing looks at what sort of person has the disease]  
  • Cure combats sickness; healing fosters wellness. 
  • Cure fosters function; healing fosters purpose.  
  • Cure alters what is; healing offers what might be. 
  • Cure is an act; healing is a process. [Cure closes the past; healing opens the future. Cure is a goal; healing is a quest. Cure seeks to change reality; healing embraces reality. Cure takes charge; healing takes time.] 
  • Cure seeks to conquer pain; healing seeks to transcend pain. [Cure is taunted by suffering; healing is taught by suffering.]  
  • Cure avoids grief; healing assumes grief.  
  • Cure encounters mystery as a challenge for understanding; healing encounters mystery as a channel for meaning. [Cure often issues from fear; healing usually issues from faith.]  
  • Cure rejects death and views it as defeat; healing includes death among the blessed outcomes of care. 

You can read more from Reclau’s book “Partners in Care: Medicine and Ministry Together” or at this link. A resource incorporating these reflections is available from Baptist Care SA. This resource could help you support people with chronic conditions. It can be downloaded here


Jason (Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash)