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Monday, September 1, 2014

Harsh

Early in my attempts to help people in their walk with God - well my personality was a bit overbearing.  With a military background that started with my time at Texas A&M, my expectation, fueled by a type A personality, was that once people knew what they should do, like a good soldier, they would just do it.

Nope.
How much have you changed since you met Christ?  Thoughts at DTTB.
That is when my military background kicked into overdrive.  I would turn up the heat on the person in the name of, "holding them accountable."  Really worked out well - NOT.  For the first several years of my ministry I left a trail of dead bodies of those who couldn't or wouldn't keep up.  One might say, accurately, that compassion was not my strong suit.

Over the years I have changed.  How much is up for grabs.  One result of the changes is that about 20 years ago I sought out some of those "dead bodies" and asked their forgiveness.  I am learning that people not only need to know what to do, they have to be shown how, and continually encouraged as they learn.

Further I am learning that no matter how good I am at showing someone what to do, it is not enough.  Psalm 127:1 leaps to mind.  If The Lord is not involved, well then, according to John15:5, not much, read nothing, is going to happen.

2 Timothy 2:24 - 25, is a great guide for me.  I have to work hard to instruct, but it is The Lord who will actually be the one who binds the truth into to the heart of those whom I have been assigned to help.

So rather than holding folks accountable, I am learning to rest and join in what The Lord is doing in their life.

Sometimes I regress.  But the trajectory is hopeful.

1 comment:

  1. Becoming a parent is helpful and instructive. Also being able to observe a godly woman who knew how to build into the lives of little ones (and me, also). One of the obvious keys, is love of course. But other things began to emerge. One of the observations we made is that when someone was ready to learn and wanted to learn, they would! So simple, but so profound. We saw this in several ways with our children and began to try and accommodate to it. For one thing, we didn't enroll them in certain schools popular at the time. The reason? Way too much homework in our opinion. We wanted them to have time for music, good reading (appropriate to age) and good old fashioned play time (outside, active). And I might say to be home week-day evenings as a family.

    Another principle, try to work with their natural tendencies. One was highly intelligent but needed encouragement, not constant challenge. Another, equally intelligent and a little younger couldn't be challenged enough (we had to try and slow her down, but we're as successful as we wished as it has had physical implications). It showed up in music lessons. The first teacher was a challenger; worked for one not the other so we changed teachers for the one who needed encouraged more. Another struggled academically and wasn't ready for college. Sharon researched possibilities and recommended she stay home for a couple of years and go to a community college although her sisters were scholarship holders in university. But she did that, had two excellent years and was granted a full scholarship at a four-year (state) university.

    I wish I had learned this sooner in my work; but maybe later is still better than never. At least I don't have any ulcers yet....

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