When I met him I took a liking to him because he was always reaching out to me. He always found me where ever I was, to greet me with a hug and a smile, and I had no problem hugging him back at all.
A time came though when I started getting irritated at his hugs, I even found myself cringing when he reached out to hug me. I could not figure out why I started feeling so uncomfortable, I would often look for reasons to walk away when I thought he was walking towards me, my smiles in his direction reduced and he even complained a couple of times to tell me I refused to smile at him, respond to his greetings, or hug him. I would tender a flimsy apology and offer a fake smile.
I got to know he had been involved in some sinful act and I thought to myself, ‘No wonder I became irritated at him.’ I had not even made an attempt to talk it over with him, to know if it was something he was willing to overcome, something he was struggling to overcome…
My irritation towards him got even stronger and stronger. One day I had to mention it to God and I felt so ashamed of myself in God’s presence.
I Was Completely Out Of Line
Love does not give up on people when they goof. Love seeks to draw them close and help them out. If I claim to be a child of love I should not have reacted the way I did to this boy who attended the same church I did and always reached out to me, pushing him away will not help anything. I should have rather embraced him, maybe God would use me to help him out.
Who knows, maybe his continual reach to me was because he needed help, and I was putting myself out of his reach. Lord have mercy!
Look What Manner Of Spirit We Are Of
In Luke 9, Jesus faced heavy rejection from the people of Samaria because even though He intended to visit them and bless them, they were upset because they thought He will be going to Jerusalem from there. At the time Samaria and Israel were great enemies.
He sent His disciples to go and get the city ready for His visit but the disciples observed that they would not receive Him and they were upset. They asked Jesus…
And when His disciples James and John observed this, they said, Lord, do You wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?
Luke 9:54 AMPC
I can imagine how angry these man were, angry enough to want to call down fire to consume the people of Samaria, and perhaps Jesus’s response might have even infuriated them more. Look what He said to them;
But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. He said, You do not know of what sort of spirit you are. Luke 9:55 AMPC
What did He mean by this, what sort of spirit was He talking about?
For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (from the penalty of eternal death). And they journeyed on to another village. Luke 9:56 AMPC
Jesus came to save men from eternal death, and He was in essence, saying to His disciples that they are of the same spirit, the spirit to save instead of destroy, to save instead of condemn, to love instead of hate, to accept people instead of reject them.
I failed to reflect this spirit in my dealing with this young man…
We Are Saviours
No, this is no heresy!
And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. Obadiah 27
Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. Nehemiah 9:27
God called men saviours. Jesus is our saviour, He came as our saviour, He lives in us and expects us to be saviours in the world. He does not want us to condemn or push people off. He does not want us to esteem ourselves too holy or spiritually superior to reach out and help a growing believer.
Love would reach out and pray for someone struggling with a particular sin, talk to the person about it and continue interceding until a change occurs.
That is what Jesus would do, in fact, I believe Jesus is still praying for men to turn away from sin and live unto Him, and here on earth, He wants to use me and you.
When we reject people because they have not come up to our level of spiritual growth and understanding, we might chase them away and into the world and the devil.
Please make no mistake, I do not allude to us not confronting sin, or condoning it. I am saying that when a fellow believer makes a mistake, like we all do, we should not push the person off and away from the love that would have helped them.
Pushing People Off Is The Easy Route
Sure it is! It is so easy to push people out, especially, members of our spiritual family, when we feel they have sinned. It is easy to cut people off because we think we are more righteous than they are… our spiritual pride stops us from doing what Jesus would do… loving them when they are in their dark places. Pushing people off is the easy route.
It is hard work to talk with them, pray with them, intercede for them, disciple them and allow ourselves to be used of God as saviours to deliver them from their dark places. It sure is hard work and it takes love, patience, humility and determination to be used of God in this way.
I failed and had to repent. I trust God that I would allow His love in me flow out unto this brother of mine and compel me to pray with him, disciple him, intercede for him and trust God for His deliverance from this sin.
Have you been in a place like this before?
How do you think believers should treat one who is still growing in faith?
Copyright© Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2017