Christians don't know how to help Christians.
This is my new soap box topic. I have talked to a few different friends about this lately. They all agree. These are strong, solid, God-seeking Christians I'm talking about. They admit that they don't feel comfortable opening up at their churches and asking for support or forgiveness for sins...yet this is what the Bible asks of us.
Why do they feel this way?
Because an open moment with church family often turns into a gossip scandal or a hateful glare down the end of someone else's nose.
Then there are those who think they are helping when they offer advice from their own pocket book. "It's a shame you got caught up in that mess. You know what the Bible teaches about those kinds of sins..I'll pray for God to help you."
But that isn't really helpful at all. It's actually a nice way of judging and throwing the person off as someone else's problem, namely, God's. However, the Bible teaches over and over again that we are to be the BODY of Christ. His hands, his feet, his love. The power to heal, raise up, forgive and anoint lies within us. Jesus gave us that power when he sent us the gift of the Holy Spirit. In fact, he said it is BETTER that we have the Holy Spirit because of all the power it bestows upon us.
So when people come in a vulnerable moment asking for prayer and help...there is a whole heck of a lot more we can and should be doing besides just throwing a verse at 'em and saying "I'll pray for you."
No, we are called to walk them through the healing process. Connect on their level. Get to the root of the problem. Why do you act this way? What led you into that sin? Where did the pain start? What do you need to heal from? How can I walk with you towards the comforting arms of Christ?
The book Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands really takes this idea and breaks it down into detailed steps. I recommend reading it if you want to be a Christian that truly helps others.
It's more than just listening. It's understanding.
It's moving closer to that person not only in spite of their sin, but in order to help walk them through it. Ephesians 4:16, Romans 12:4, and Colossians 2:19 all speak of the role of the BODY. We go through stuff together..not as individuals.
"From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
"Builds itself up in love." In love.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not proud.
Love is not rude.
Love is not self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil.
Love rejoices in truth.
Love ALWAYS PROTECTS.
LOVE ALWAYS TRUSTS.
LOVE ALWAYS HOPES.
LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES.
Love never fails. Love never gives up.
Where would you be if God gave up on you? Where would you be if you were surrounded by a body of believers who walked with you through the sickness of your soul as well as the joy of your deliverance.
Forgive us world, for we aren't perfect, and we haven't done our job. Forgive us church, for we aren't moving and breathing as we ought. Lord, give us a second chance.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."