Wednesday, September 08, 2010

It's Not What is Said, It's How It Affects the Other Person

I love how God uses all things as His servants (Psalm 119:91), even me. How a remark in passing will mean little to me, or even nothing to many others in ear shot, but will hit God's chosen recipient(s) like a ton of bricks...exactly what they needed to hear at the imperative moment

Things that are important to me are not the same for the next person...and vice versa. My challenges are not theirs. But I am thankful for each trial I get to face (though unpleasant) because it teaches me empathy and compassion. It is far more difficult for me to encourage another when I have not walked the path myself.

For example, in my vapor of a life (James 4:14) I know someone who is wrestling dearly with something I have never experienced and do not understand. Unfortunately, I have attempted to speak to this individual based on God's word however given my naivety on the matter it did not go well at all. Fortunately, God continues to keep this adult in my life so I have the opportunity to ask forgiveness and try again. This time, doing research first and then opening my mouth.

Come to find out, after talking to another who struggles with this same temptation, my approach and assumptions on the matter were all wrong! No wonder I offended when my intention was to bless. I had no clue what lay at the heart of the matter. In this particular case, it is a lack of time and depth in God's word. I was trying to address the issue at the surface instead of digging to the root.

What added insult to injury was I had the prideful audacity to presume I knew how to fix someone else's tribulation and that my unsolicited opinion was wanted and best. Even though I am grounded deep and firm in God's word, that #1 does not make me an expert and #2 does not make me the Holy Spirit. I am a daughter of the King, recipient of an inheritance, and former wretch...NOT holy.

"Hence that dread and amazement with which, as scripture uniformly relates, holy men were struck and overwhelmed whenever they beheld the presence of God...Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God." J. Calvin
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