I’m such a babe in following Christ! I mean, really… an infant, a baby, a toddler… just barely 2! But hooray for 2 and going on 3!
I mean, on one hand, I want to applaud at the fact I am doing so well, then on the other side, I feel like I am not doing enough compared to ‘seasoned’ Christians. Get my drift?
Everyone has heard, when you first get saved, old things are supposed to pass away, and you are becoming new person, literally. We can also think of it like, you are 1 years old again, learning to walk again, learning to talk again, learning how to behave, learning not to touch the stove when it’s hot… So yeah, one can guess, Christian babies are always learning, growing all awhile they are unlearning and undoing the old man. So if you are a Christian baby, meaning you decided to live a life worthy of the calling He placed on you, good for you! You will stumble, fall down sometimes, but with the help and patience of our loving Lord, you will eventually stop stumbling in certain areas of your life.
2 years ago, when I made the decision to live for Christ, I just wasn’t automatically ‘there’. I couldn’t automatically quote scriptures. I didn’t automatically know how to behave. I didn’t automatically say ‘no’ to the things of the world, I was still engaging in it. There was still a lot of my old self in me then, there was still a lot of my old self in me a year ago… and there is still some old self in me today! But as the more and more I live for him, the more I surround myself with people who are doing the same thing, the more I continue to read and study the word, the more and more I rid myself of old things.
As those who what I call ‘seasoned Christians’, I definitely believe we should allow more grace and patience with those who have not been ‘in it’ for that long or who are just starting out. I have seen, and believe that we base our judgment on those from where we are today, and not meeting them where they are. Yes, we should be excited about sharing the Good News of Jesus, of course, yes we are supposed to be disciples and yes, we are to exemplify God in every action we display. But a lot of those who are seeking Christ and those that want to dedicate their life back to Christ are comparing their progress by our middle because we hurry them by what we expect. We forget that, we too, had to come out of a lot of ways and habits that were not overnight successes. Unconsciously, we put that expectation on them unfortunately, that’s why so many think they can never ‘be saved’.
AMP: Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness…
All through the New Testament, I come across gentleness quite often. We sometimes forget that, as a Christian with everything we do, it has to be done in gentleness. Why? Well most people respond to gentleness & love, whether you are of the world or not. It is a language understood by many. Love conquers all, but that is another subject for another day. Jesus, yet firm, still with a loving spirit told the adulterous woman, now, go and sin no more.
In a ministry email I received, the author spoke about this a little: “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.” We have to meet people (those of the world) where they are, and not where we are. This is what ministry is all about, being transparent and meeting those where they are. You can’t put a 2 year old on a 10 speed bike and expect them to peddle. You can’t put a 6 year old in a college algebra course and expect them to understand. Dealing with new babies in Christ as ministers and leaders, we have to practice patience and transparency. Yes, we want to win souls, but we can’t lose our witness in the winning.
Just a note to all, and reassurance for myself. Let’s evaluate the demanding “right now” spirit, reach out to people where they are, and gently pull them and show them the way to Christ.