Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pointing, not Solving

Have you ever looked at someone and thought, "they are just so far from God.. where do I start?" Whether it be attitude, lifestyle, weaknesses, there comes a point where we walk across the room, develop friendships, find their story only to realise that they have some serious issues going on in their life.

When we encounter people like that, there is often a strong urge to want to "solve" their problems for them. We want to tell them what they 'need' to do, what areas in their life they need to fix and how they should fix them!

I'm not sure this is what Christ had in mind. Perhaps Just walking across the room is about pointing people in the right direction, not telling them how to fix their problems, but letting God do the transformation in their lives.

It matters less about the baggage they carry, and more about the destination, because the baggage will be dealt with on the journey.

On P88 and 89 of JWAR, Hybels states, "What was of utmost importance to Jesus was that irreligious people were willing for Him to make them holy. It didn't matter where they had been or what they had done.. But to Christ, what mattered more than where they came from was the direction in which they were headed"

A few examples came out of the campaign so far. Brian, the soccer coach, was told that his choices had led him to the place where he was, but Bill Hybels didn't tell him how to fix his problems. He just pointed him in the right direction, and let God do the work.

Another example is Bill's encounter with the couple in the restaurant. He wasn't prompted by the spirit to condemn their lifestyle, but simply pointed them in the right direction.

In a message called "People Matter", Dr John Maxwell makes a few points that help in this area:

1. The value that God has bestowed on people, is the standard by which we should value others.

2. What is the standard? “God loves me as I am, not as I would like to be, or as I appear to be, but just as I am.”

Because God loves us in this way, then we ought to love others just as they are and without judgment on where they're at. We then can point them in the right direction and let God make them holy.

3. People are important to God (and therefore important to us) because of who they can become.

Bill Hybels states the same point when he says "Jesus capitalised on the possibility in people - the hidden potential inherent in all of us"(p67). He goes on to say, "He [Jesus] had an uncanny ability to look past the obvious flaws in people's lives and envision who they could become if the power of God were released in their lives"

Chuck Swindoll summarises it nicely when he says, "Our job is not to clean the fish tank.. just to fish"

Our job is see people for who they can become, love them just as they are and point them towards the one who can transform their reality to God's potential.

No comments: