I happened to be visiting with my dad the other day. He suffers from an issue with his eye. I asked him about it and what treatment the doctor had given him. He had given up on the doctor’s prescription having seen no result. But he did mention that his brother had been afflicted with the same problem and had it successfully corrected with surgery. So there was an option, should he wish to go that route.
As I thought about this, it seemed to resonate with the passage in Luke 6 that I have been reading. Jesus is speaking :
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” (41-42)
Firstly, this is obviously a passage about self examination, but I believe there is more. Jesus does not say that you cannot help your brother with his eye – no, he says that you can help, but only after yours is healed. As I reflected on this, I recalled that the people who are most effective in reaching someone lost in sin are the ones who were once in that same position themselves. And they do not approach them with judgement and condemnation. No, on the contrary, they approach them with love, understanding and most importantly, hope. Having been in that same situation and having successfully been healed, they are the ones with the most influence and authority to speak to those still suffering. Most people in sin already suffer under mountains of condemnation, whether from themselves or the enemy, we do not need to add to this burden. We need to offer hope. Hope is the only thing that will stir the spirit of even the most hardened individual into considering a new path.
So as I began to meditate on this concept I found myself asking two questions:
- Am I going through something or in any particular struggle where I need to reach out to someone who I know has successfully come through it for support and guidance?
- What experiences has God brought me through that would allow me to offer hope to others? Is there a particular individual or group of individuals that I should be ministering to?
Our testimony, our story, our experience of what God has done for us is a most valuable tool – one that the enemy would rather have us not use. Having been freed from sin, many would like to go on almost hiding the fact that they ever were in sin. But Revelation 12:11a says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Our story, our experience of the wonderful things that God has done in us, is the one thing that cannot be argued. People can argue religion and tell you that you are misled. They can argue points of view. But they cannot argue with your experience. They can choose to ignore it, but they can’t argue. And that testimony, coupled with the power of God is a force that will overcome our enemy.
Is there someone out there that needs me today? Is there someone that needs you?