Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Misery-Causing Myth

One of the major myths that I encounter again and again as a pastor is when a person thinks that everbody else is doing well and has it all together and that he/she is the only one struggling -- struggling in their home life, or their work life, or with financial setbacks, or with the consequences of some bad choices, etc., etc.

But like I said -- that's a myth. It's just not how things really are. The truth is that many of us (probably most of us) on any given day are facing some pretty tough challenges -- that's how life goes on a fallen planet. So what should we do? Well, certainly we should pray, and we should seek God's wisdom and direction through his Word.

But it shouldn't stop there -- because in God's plan he also intends that we lean on one another in the body of Christ -- in the family of God, where we have brothers and sisters. We shouldn't be ashamed or embarrassed to admit our struggles and fears and even our failures -- for one thing, we all have them. We belong to one another; so if God has given me the grace and resources to do someone else some good, it's my privilege and responsibility to be a good steward of what God's given me, by using it to help others. Heaven knows how many times I've needed that kind of help from others in the family of God.

Of course it's possible for this principle to be abused, and the Bible has some direct teaching about how to respond to such abuse (e.g., 2 Thess. 3:6-10), but we can't allow the possibility that some might abuse this principle to prevent us from acting it out in the wise and gracious ways the Bible maps out for us.

So as we pray for our own needs and struggles, and the needs and struggles of others, let's not forget that many times God intends to use US in each others lives as part of the answer to those prayers. So let us learn to invite each other into one another's lives -- like family...because that's what we are.

(Jn. 13:34; Acts 2:44-45; Gal.6:2,10; 2 Cor. 8&9; Rom.12:13-16; Jas. 5:13-16; 1 John 3:16-18)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that we do not spend the needed time to develop the relationships with our brothers and sisters so we naturally feel compelled to share our big struggle and concerns with them.