I remember my last year of teen camp very well. I learned much there and had a wonderful time. I enjoyed many games and activities, one of which stands out vividly in my mind.
All of us girls meet in the chapel building which also doubled as a gym since it had ample space and a concrete floor. We were divided into two groups and sent to opposite sides of the room. Once there we noticed that a large grid had been made on the floor using blue masking tape. We were told that there was a path through it which we would have to find by trial and error. O, did I mention that we could not say a word(which is very hard for girls, especially a whole group!) though it was permissible to nod our heads up and down or shake it from side to side(what a relief!) Of course our team was eager to win so we were determined to stay silent! The race began and slowly we started to make our way through the invisible maze. One girl at a time made her way forward, each time she stepped into a box she looked at our leader to see if he nodded yes or no. The rest of us lined one side of the grid doing our best to guide and encourage our team mate. Over the course of the game though a strange thing happened. To those of us on the sidelines, the “path” was crystal clear but when one of us would go to take our turn something interesting occurred. After we took our first step into the grid the path, so clear before, disappeared! This happened to every girl; quickly they would look to us for guidance and help. We in return offered the help and encouragement needed to get them through. You know, I don't remember if we won or not but the principle of the game has stayed with me. What principle? In fact, what's the point of this story? Simply put, its much easier to see the truth from the outside of a problem then when your in it.
How often have we, as believers, thought “What were they thinking?!” when we saw or heard of a decision a friend of ours has made.
Let me give you an example:
There is a young girl, perhaps preparing to start college soon, and she is pregnant. This news reaches you and also that she is considering an abortion. It would be very easy for us to say, “What are you thinking?; are you crazy?; How could you ever consider such a thing!” But is that how the Master would want us to respond? I doubt it. Immediately judging someone for their wrong and forgetting to show love could easily drive them away.
It's very easy to judge someone or to give advice when they are in a trial or hardship. The obvious answer to the situation may not seem so obvious or easy to them as it is to you. When it was my turn to go through the maze, I couldn't remember the way or we could say the “truth”. I needed the help of my friends. There were pressers of time which clouded my thoughts; I was so glad for the encouragement of my friends. They were right there when I needed them; eager to help and offer their encouragement. Without them I would not have made it through.
We are to be that for our fellow believers and indeed to anyone else the Lord sends our way. Galatians 6:2 speaks of this, “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” What is the law of Christ? I believe the answer is found in John 13:34 - “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Also Galatians 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
To love is to have compassion on others and to do what's best for them. There is no room for criticism or condemnation.
Christ gave us an example of this when He dealt with the woman caught in the act of adultery. He simply told the woman to go and sin no more. There was no berating or lectures. Jesus simply and gently told her to sin no more. I believe she did just that.
What if the roles were reversed and you were found in the same situation as the young girl I mentioned earlier? Galatians 6:1 mentions this: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
We are not immuned to sin and were it not for God's grace and the influence of good friends and leaders we could be facing the same problem, sin or temptation.
The girl contemplating an abortion? Maybe we should put ourselves in her shoes and imagine what she's facing. Her parents are no doubt furious, the father of the baby is most likely no where to be found and her dreams for the future are altered drastically no matter what she chooses. Yes, what she did was wrong but we should be encouraging her and helping her to make the right choice. At this moment she is in that first box; she is unable to see the truth clearly because of all the pressure she's facing. She knows the truth but is having trouble acting upon it. That is where we, those of us on the sidelines, come along and encourage, help and strengthen her. Assist her in bearing the burden and seeking to lift the weight any way we can.
Who is to say that we can not be used of God to help guide someone through the “maze” of their problem or trial and restore their relationship with God or even bring them to a saving knowledge!
People are going to be more proned to listen and accept the advice of someone who shows that they genuinely care about them. Most of all, pray for them!
I want to be used; I want to have a compassion that makes a difference. I pray that this is the desire of all our hearts.
“And of some have compassion, making a difference:” Jude 22
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I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.