Monday, August 22, 2011

AUGUST 22 "THE WORSE PEOPLE TO TRY TO COMFORT ARE..."

     THE worse people to try to comfort are those that have spent their lives encouraging others, ironically enough (or not so ironic) is that they that have spent their lives encouraging others and expected those that they ministered to to receive their benevolence; now that they are recipients of such Grace and benevolence, they are not such good takers. Verse 3 in Job, "Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hand. Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees"  We don't have to guess at what Job's life has been, we are told here, he has spent his life instructing, strengthening and supporting others but now that he is down and out, he is not so good at letting others encourage him.  Ever met people like that?  They are great at helping others, they are great at encouraging others but when they need help, when they need encouraging they are not so easily encouraged and don't want to accept that they need help from others too!  As a general rule, we prefer to be the ones on top (except for a few that are addicted to self pity) but in all reality, life will make sure to let us taste the floor from time to time. We must be able to minister to others, but we must also be able to let others minister to us.  It does not take humility to minister to others,sometimes the opposite of humility is present in ministering to others, IE; Pride, but one thing is for sure,  it does take humility to let others minister to you. It takes humility to admit that you do need that $50.00 (we would much rather say, "no, I'm good bro") that someone is offering to buy you groceries, does not help your ego. It does take humility to admit that for once you're the one struggling and now the people you have helped in the past are not struggling. 
     Job's friends continue in their discourse..."you have strengthened faltering knees and now trouble comes to you and you are discouraged.".   And they are right! Job who has in the past pumped everyone else up, is now down when trouble comes his way. In essence his friends are right. The problem with Job's "ministering friends" is they didn't know when to shut up!  All we remember Job's friends for is all the non-sense they spoke and we lose sight of anything reasonable they might have said.  And this is the problem with not knowing when to shut up, what happens is all the stupid things you say, will wipe out all the good things you did have to say. Job's friends said allot of good things, if only they had stopped there. We must be careful that when ministering to others we don't go beyond what we should have. We may be inspired by God to say a few inspired, helpful words and rather than just leave it at that we feel like, "hey I'm on a roll, I might as well keep on talking" but that is when we ruin it and now start rambling on; out of our domain; and now we start saying stuff that the person we were trying to minister too, does not agree with. Now we have over stepped our boundaries and may even leave the person, having done more harm, than good. I have been there and done that many times and I'm sure so have you. If we are going to be effective ministers for Jesus, than we must learn to be able to dish it out, but we must also be able to receive it.  We must also learn to shut up and stop trying to minister beyond our boundaries.
     Perhaps you are in a place in your life right now where you are not necessarily where you have been used to being. To be blunt, you are down, you are hurting, you are weak, you are struggling and the hardest thing for you, other than your troubles, is admitting that you need help, admitting that you need to be encouraged by someone else and God forbid that someone else be the one you have encouraged yourself in the past. Are you willing to accept this and are you willing to let them encourage you?  Will you let humility have it's work in you?  Will you let someone see you when you're down?  Will you let someone see you depressed?  Will you let someone see you cry?  Will you let someone see you sick and weak?  Will you let someone see you with a whimpering Faith?  If the answer to these questions is a decisive NO then you will die right where you are at and the saddest part will not be your death, but that your death could have been prevented had you allowed yourself to accept help and allow humility to have it's way in you.