When confronted by real challenges in this life, it is very encouraging to see the evidence of His work of redemption in one’s heart. It demonstrates – to us first – that He is faithful and that He is actually changing us. Yes, to see Him in action is better than working for NASA.
One of my mentors told me that in my ministry as a disciple-maker, I should err on the side of loving people. Clearly. It would not always be easy, he said, but it would show others my real intentions.
I thought it was a nice advice.
Difficult, and somehow impractical, but a nice advise never the less.
Over the years, this advice has become more and more important for me. Showing love, grace, mercy even when the circumstances are not the best, can clearly convinced me that He is at work in me. It is a validation of His faithfulness and power. It’s almost as if you were an engineer, and NASA called to hire you. That would be a sing that things were going well with your career.
Recently I had an experience that left me discouraged and, honestly, very angry. How sad it is to see Christians giving into a culture of consumerism. My interaction with a believer of many, many years was not – at all – the kind of interaction this person was championing – what he was demanding of others – before taking the way out. It was painful, but I moved on. It was not the first time something like this has happened, and over all, his departure was a positive thing all around. I believed that the issue was over, but then, very unexpectedly, I had to work again with this person for a short period of time.
I tried my best to be polite and show some care. But at the end, when it was time to say good-bye, the person was distracted with someone else, and I didn’t put the effort to shake hands of anything. I just left.
But then, the advise from my mentor came crashing into soul.
“Err on the side of loving people.”
So, I gave in. I contacted the person to express my gratitude for the assistance provided. It was a short and sweet message.
But this person didn’t respond.
Oh well, the whole thing was not about getting an apology from the previous behavior, nor even a nice ‘it was nice to see you, too!’ kind of response. The whole thing was about confirming to myself that God has changed me to the point that I have the sincere desire, and ability, to imitate Him.
Erring on the side of showing love showed me that He is at work, in me.
FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
What is the biggest piece of evidence, for you personally, of His work of restoration in your heart?
Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.