We like to think that we are willing to face a great deal for the sake of the Gospel but I wonder if we are willing to face simply being inconvenienced or having our life interrupted by someone else? We have all experienced this. We are busy, we have a plan, we are on a mission to... relax and watch that television show or movie that we really want to see. We have just settled down with a nice snack, looking forward to a relaxing evening when the phone rings and it is someone in crisis who needs someone to listen. What is our internal reaction? Do we make an excuse and tell them we will call them back later? Do we keep the phone to our ear but block out what they are saying as we concentrate on what we want to do? Or do we allow ourselves to be interrupted?
Jesus allowed Himself to be interrupted. He had the greatest mission of all to complete and time was limited. Thousands of people would flock to Him and yet He always made time for the poor, the sick and the broken-hearted. Do we?
When we do take the time, are we motivated by love and the desire to help and serve or is the person simply our little project? People have an uncanny way of knowing if they are a project and for the most part, they do not take kindly to being a "project".
Several months ago, my son introduced my husband to a man he knew who really needed a good friend. He had lots of "friends" in his life who were bad for him and even took advantage of him. He needed people in his life who genuinely cared about him. He needed good friends who would not only help him but love him... right where he was. So, my husband talked to the man and suggested that they get together for breakfast. When they did so, there was no sermon and no lecture. They simply talked and got to know one another. They have become friends and do you know what? It is much easier to be a positive influence in people's lives when you are their friend. Jesus developed relationships with people and so must we.
With relationships comes risk. If we are going to develop relationships with the lost, the hurting and the broken, we must be willing to go to where they are. They usually will not come to us. There is also something else however. People are much more likely to open up to people who themselves have been lost, hurt and broken. What this means is that in order to truly minister to people, we ourselves must be willing for God to lead us down some pretty difficult paths as well. After all, that's where these people are, right?
Are we willing to suffer loss, pain and even disease or disability so that we might reach a wounded world and demonstrate by the testimony of our lives that God is bigger? Are we willing to trade financial security, position, health, etc so that those who are suffering might see Christ at work in us?
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