When I was younger, I remember how aggressive, proud and absolutely certain I was about everything. I used to be so critical and judgmental toward other brothers and sisters who were going through difficult times full of doubt and confusion. Some of them wanted to quit the ministry. Instead of showing compassion for them, I would come up with Bible verses to preach at them.
Sometimes I did the same thing to my wife. One day, when I came home, her eyes were all red, and I asked her what was wrong? But before she could answer, I told her five Scripture references.
“Can you please stop preaching at me?” she asked. “I know all these Bible verses myself. The whole day I struggled with the kids and things at home. All I want is for you to understand what I am going through.”
Let us learn from Jesus!
The next time we see our brother or sister discouraged and confused, let us not say with our mouth, “I will pray for you,” while in our heart we are saying, “You creep, don’t you know better?” Instead, let us encourage them to keep looking at what Jesus is doing and see the difference that their lives are making for the kingdom of God.
And one more thing: When Jesus talked to the crowds about John, He never mentioned John’s doubt and confusion. Instead, He made the most amazing statements about John’s life and ministry.
Can we do the same with our brothers and sisters? Let us be willing to forget their problems and times of discouragement and see only the amazing things God has done in and through their lives. And then let us believe that He will do even greater things through them in the future.
Will you be God’s instrument of compassion and encouragement?