What if you saw someone drowning in water, threw them a life preserver, and they refused to take it? How would you feel? You’d probably, if you're like me, continue to haul it in and keep throwing it back out to them hoping that they would eventually change their mind once they figure the alternative to not taking it is bad.
Here’s the problem: often, we encounter individuals struggling with with various forms of sin (by the way, pastors aren't exempt from sin). We observe struggles, we see how we can help, we go out of our way to help- which is all good. We show care, concern, and love as instructed by Jesus (Matthew 22:36-40). You can Google what the Bible says about helping others and it’ll list page after page. But, what if that help isn’t accepted? What if that individual doesn’t want to acknowledge their situation or sin? What if they don’t want to change anything? Or, what if they refuse to take the life preserver?
I’ve wrestled with this question for some time. Here are my thoughts (in no particular order).
We MUST never abandon anyone. We check in with them making it known we are always there for them.
We MUST continue to love. Numerous scriptures encourage us to love, even the unloveable.
We MUST pray. We pray for these individuals that God may soften their hearts, open their eyes, and convict them through the Holy Spirit for them to be restored to God.
We MUST continue on with trying to reach others for Jesus- offering hope, encouragement, and support.
Matthew 7:13-14 talks about the wide and narrow gate. It states that many will miss the gate to eternal happiness with Jesus. Although we might not know who or who won’t make it through the narrow gate, our job is to make the path known and be ready when someone seeks it!
From time to time, Rev D posts random thoughts about life as a Pastor and Servant of Christ. He has a unique perspective. Blog entries are posted randomly.