Saturday, June 23, 2007

Blind Guides - Part 2

A thought occurred to me: what if I am a blind guide? I don't mean, what if I am requiring people to measure up to my standards before I allow them to come to God. God forbid that I am dragging around that pointless cross again - I have not only dealt with those who think I should do things their way, but have also myself, tried to require others to tow my own lines of interpretations on what to believe on various issues, both moral and practical. There really is only one non-negotiable when it comes to God: the only way to Him is through His Son, Jesus Christ, who paid for our sins on the cross. I gladly tow that line. All else, while not being irrelevant, does not even come close to this eternal truth.

What I am talking about is when I try to live my life for Christ and when I help others, am I trying to do it on my own? Or am I relying on God to lead me - even if it means the decision I would like to make immediately isn't what He wants? How do I know what He wants?

Hurry Up and Wait!

Most times, I want to move faster than I perceive God wants to move. I want to force an issue - use my own reasoning apart from God's leading. Is the advice I am giving not only wise and practical, but is it of God? Have I even sought His advice before doling out what I think should happen in any given situation? This is my biggest struggle. When I see someone stuck in sin that has their lives in a tailspin - I immediately want to tell them to "Stop it! Just stop sinning!" If you have any experience with addictive behavior, you know that this is not a possibility. I know our God is all powerful. He is supreme and above all of creation. But, for some reason, He does not commonly intervene with a miracle and take away a besetting sin from someone to never have to deal with again. Why not? I don't know. He leaves that unanswered. All I know is that we have to trust Him and His process for healing someone from their addiction. And therein lies the true miracle: He uses people to do His healing and on His schedule - if we are willing to listen to him.


See Through God's Eyes

So our marching orders are to see through God's eyes and be His instruments of healing as He seeks the lost and in my case, those stuck in addictive behaviors that are looking for a way out. We need to be in prayer with Him - staying in touch with His heart. How else do we know what He wants to do?

We also need to be willing to wait when He wants us to wait and be willing to move when He wants us to move. He doesn't heal on our terms. He heals on His own mysterious terms. We become blind guides when we don't do things His way - even if our motives are pure.

We also need to remember that Christ has left a helper - the Holy Spirit for us to rely on for insight and guidance. We need to invite Him into our situations and ask Him to show us along the way.

Lest I forget to mention this: We need to be clean ourselves - or at the very least, be far along on the road to being clean. I hesitate to say we must be perfect - none of us are. But we should not pretend to be able to help others when we are ourselves stuck in sin and addiction.


Conclusion

The blind guides Jesus was talking about in Matthew 23 were purposely leading people to do and believe things that benefited their interests. They ruled selfishly and self-righteously.

What I am writing about here is different, I don't want to control anyone for my own purposes. But I can still fall into leading someone in a direction that God doesn't want to go in simply because I didn't seek His counsel or direction - thinking I know what's best. I am a blind guide in that instance. I must reject the tendency to give a quick answer and expect quick results. I need to allow God the time and room to work in that person's life. As I tell those I have helped, God's way of healing is a process. It takes time and it's usually pretty messy. If I am willing to do these things, I will have become an instrument in God's hands, and will be a part of the healing process and not a hindrance to it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aren't blogs wonderful. :) ?

I think that the "blind guides" (the ones leading people for their own purposes) don't want to consider that this is what they are doing. And if I thought that I might even possibly be doing this, I certainly would not want to really ask myself about my motives. And even more certainly not ask myself about what I might be doing to others.

The very act of asking "Am I a blind guide?" probably means that you are rarely one--even with your concerns.

High standards (along the guiding line) are appropriate--but if you let them, they can grind you down. They should be goals, not mill stones. I've known good men who were destroyed by their own expectations and standards for themselves--but I've probably known many more who should have expected better of themselves.

So, hang in there. Thinking about things greater than ourselves is good preparation for eternity. :)

Bennett Willis

Alan Paul said...

Thanks Bennett for the advice. I am sometimes too hard on myself and am trying to learn to balance that with the reality that I am human and fallible and won't always make the right moves.

And BTW: Blogs are a mixed blessing as is usually the case with anything. Too much of a good thing and all that applies to blogs too. I have read that some are fasting from blogs... those that are probably should have fasted from then a long time ago. Anyways, that's a whole other subject!