I had one of those light bulb moments last night, and yes, of course it had to do with Jesus. For those of you who tell me that I tie God into everything, you’re right. It’s kind of a big deal to me. I’m not perfect, and sometimes I’m downright stupid, but regardless of how far I stray, God won’t let me go. I’ve done enough crap by now that he should have kicked me to the curb a long time ago. He hasn’t, so I’m not givin’ up yet!
Last night I was discussing downfalls with a friend and I told him I somehow reached a point where I feel absolutely helpless. Completely lost, completely drained, and I feel like I have no where to go and I’ll never get out of the ruts I’ve made time and time again. I believe I described it as being in the middle of a black forest with no flashlight and nowhere to go but deeper into the forest. He then told me I needed to watch some sermon series from Mars Hill, and it hit me (here’s the light bulb).. Jesus never once referred anyone to a sermon series, a book, a psychologist, whatever. He did it himself.
He was the one who sat and talked to the woman at the well; he didn’t tell her she needed to check out a series on purity.
He was the one who went and healed the sick; he didn’t refer them to a doctor.
He was the one who challenged the disciples; he didn’t tell them to go down the street to a mega church and check out the super-inspirational preacher they have there.
He was the one who told the man to give up everything and follow him. He didn’t tell him to go to Barnes & Noble and buy the latest Joel Osteen book that tells you how to be a better, richer Christian.
He was the one who did all of these things. Granted, he had the advantage of being Jesus, but how many times do we tell someone to go do this or go do that in order to get them out of our own hair? Maybe that isn’t the case.. Maybe we don’t believe in ourselves.. But really? Are we going to continue to sit on the sidelines of Christianity and allow only the big names like Billy Graham and Max Lucado to tough others and change lives? If we’ve read the books, then we clearly have the knowledge we’re pushing others towards. If we’ve been to the conferences on leadership, then apparently we know enough to help guide others instead of just telling them to go to the conferences themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I know these things are helpful, but I also know for a fact that we all too often expect the “professionals” to do the jobs we can do. No, it may not be easy to sit and listen to someone tell you what they’re struggling with. But I’m not sure Christian relationship with others is supposed to always be easy. Let’s face it guys – we’re here in America where (well, for right now) we aren’t (physically) persecuted by our government, therefore we don’t have that excuse. We’re just lazy. Some people say they’re too busy sometimes (I’ve been one of these), but the reality is, we’re too lazy with our faith. We’re too relaxed. Brothers and sisters who need to talk about a struggle they’re dealing with NEED to talk about this. We’ve let sin become a small issue. It’s a huge issue! It’s what separates us from the heart of God. It’s what destroys relationships, friendships, and marriages. But instead we tell them, “Nah, you’ll get over it. You’ll grow out of it. You’ll wind up okay. It’s just a phase.” Even if it is just a phase, who are we to discredit their hurt? I’m just so frustrated with all the “quick fixes” we try to turn people to. I was on the phone one night this week with a friend from school and I was telling her about some things I’ve been dealing with, and as always, I was pretty harsh on myself. She reminded me that with where I was a year ago, with a situation that was arising, it was no wonder I am where I am right now. It’s true. She’s right. And you know what, she never once told me, “Hey you need to read this” or “Go watch that.” She prayed for me while we were on the phone. That’s what we should be doing. I’m so, so, so thankful for the friends I have. They’re rock solid people and I’d be at the bottom of a pit without them.
So. Who have you referred a book to lately? Go talk to them. Go pray with them. Go show them Jesus.