“God help us. We must break out of the boxes of our normality and dare to go close to those we don’t understand. We must not use words like, “those people” with pointed fingers, hard hearts and spiritually superior attitudes. By going close, we see things we need to see. We hear things we need to hear. And our hearts become tender in the way we must be tender.
God help us. Instead of running alongside people seeking to understand them, we sometimes have tendencies to run them over with our agendas and perceptions and points of view. We must seek to be discerning, not demanding.
God help us. We must go to people. Listen to people. Start where they are, not where we want them to be.”
~LYSA TERKEURST (blog entry here)
I subscribed to this blog, Proverbs 31 Ministries, in essence to gain understanding of what and who a “Proverbs 31” woman is. I am always on the move of trying to just become a better woman in general, better attitude, better faith, better discernment, better judgment… etc. I am always looking for ways to ‘renew’ myself every day. Just as the bible instructed, 2 Corinthians 4:16 “… Our human body is wearing out. But our spirits are getting stronger every day.- NLV” I didn’t know what a Proverbs 31 woman was, but everyone was talking about a P31 woman. She is virtuous, loving, kind, hardworking… all of that. So I was intrigued to know the Proverbs 31 ministry is a group of women bloggist who share their stories of triumph and victory.
Moving on with the subject, I read this blog from Mrs. Terkeurst this morning, and boy was I so grateful this came at this time. I know recently I have been struggling with this particular subject. Currently, I am on both ends of the spectrum: wanting people to be where I want them to be, and feeling like people want me to be where they want me to be. I’m just trying to get the lesson out of it. And I think that the best lessons in life are when you experience both ends of the situation and to see both angles.
As I am on this lifelong journey with Christ, first as children of God, we must seek His face in every situation and decision. But also know that we are still flesh, we are human and we will sin: every day. Knowingly or not, we will do something that is against what He has called us to do. The gossip, the lie, the lust, the resentment, the anger… all of that against what we should produce out of our lives. A reference to this is Galatians 5:22-23 “…But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! – NLV” So I always go back to this, if your actions aren’t these, then our attitudes need to be readjusted. This is how we should act towards each Child of God, and vice versa, we should be respected in such manner. The hard part is, no matter how ugly someone is towards us, no matter if someone disrespected us, disagreed with us, shared their opinion with us, no matter if someone has an attitude with you for no reason, our duty (google definition: a task or action that someone is required to perform) is to display the fruits to everyone.
So when I read this blog, it hit me. We are required to start with people, where they are. Faults and all, flaws and all. Attitudes and all. Wrongdoings and ALL. Mistreatments and ALL. And still display the fruits, especially patience.
On a Facebook post I read some time ago, a woman put something along the lines of Don’t forget everyone has a process to go through. Just because you don’t see what God is doing in their life, don’t mean God isn’t working on them. Don’t count them out. And this is a true statement.
Everyone has a process. Everyone’s path is different. Everyone’s salvation course is not the same. I don’t look at someone who is in and out of church funny. Only go to God when they need something. I don’t look at them funny. Because I was there. I know that path. Even when they are older than me, their path is quite different than mines. And I was there for a long time. I was sinning and still going to church Sunday morning. I dropped out of church for a while. Didn’t go to church but maybe Easter and Christmas. Got so used to working Sunday mornings, sleeping in because I was tired. I went through all of that. But God changed and rocked my world when 1 situation crashed my world and had to finally choose His way.
As much as we would love to see our beloved in a better place than they are, want to impose our agenda on them, want to push God and Christ in them, they won’t be ready until they are ready. My 2 cents: pray for them and allow God to mold them into who He has desired them to be. His ways are not our ways. And ask God for you to see the best in them. Because that is what He see in us. And vice versa. People shouldn’t push their agenda, their hopes, their desires of what they want you to be on you. Allow God, and continue to pray to God, to open you to what He (not them) has required of you. Some of the uncomfortability will indeed come from Him, especially in the beginning. But not all. My 2 cents is to pray for Gods discernment and wisdom to know His voice, and what (and if) He is speaking to you through them. Go and truly hear God’s voice, even if you have to have some time alone. Even Jesus went away to pray. (Luke 5:16).
I pray that the more you grow in Him, the less you become, so you will be able to hear Him more.