It’s been a little while since I’ve made my last confession here on Before The Cross. I don’t intend on doing something like this just for the sake of a confession or anything like that, but to share with you what’s going on in my life personally and hope you find encouragement in the fact that none of us will ever “get it all together” perfectly. We all still fall short of the glory of God and need Jesus just the same.
The other day my wife and I were talking and I was sharing the struggles of trying to invest and disciple someone specifically. We had a great talk about it and she started asking me some questions in regards to what I have done already in the relationship with that person. I had quick answers for her each and every time on what I’ve already done and how that person doesn’t care because they aren’t responding.
It seems like in such a short amount of time, I threw out many things that I already did to my wife…in my self defense. Things like:
- Yes, yes…I’ve already been praying…I know, I know.
- I’ve tried to call over and over again and the phone just doesn’t work for them.
- Sure, I’ve tried to actually spend time with them, but nothing ever really happens.
- It takes two people to build the relationship, so they need to come back towards me to make it happen.
- I can’t change them so God will just have to change them and I’ll wait and see what happens.
Here’s the beauty of my wife and how her response to me left me with no comeback whatsoever (which you can imagine..made me feel GREAT about myself).
The response kind of went like this – “So…Mike…you’ve done all those things already….what if you keep trying and just make more phone calls, show up more often, and just be present and invest in their life?” To which I responded angrily, “because it doesn’t do anything!” She basically said…and? So? Your point?
This rocked me. It was one of those moments that I was about to repeat everything all my excuses over again, but I had nothing to say. I was silent. I almost laughed on the inside of how ridiculous I sounded, but was more convicted at what I had been doing.
Instead of actually loving and investing in someone, I marked them off my list with my Christian things that I have done.
Now don’t get me wrong, praying, calling, texting, showing up, working on both parties loving each other in a relationship, and God changing hearts are all great things. I would encourage anyone to start doing things like that to build a relationship, but they can’t be everything. They can’t become a list of “things” that you just do to “love” someone. That is not investing in someone…that is not real love.
That’s my sinful confession. Somewhere along the line I stopped investing and loving the person, and they became a project for me to throw Christian things at…and then blame them for not responding in a Godly way. Pretty terrible!
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3
I was considering myself more significant than that person VS what the Bible actually teaches. Instead of being humble, I was being prideful. Instead of serving the Lord, I was serving myself and chalking up my “Christian list.”
Afterwards, through prayer and talking with my wife, God…from His rich mercy and grace, guided me back before the cross to remember what Jesus did for me and how I can invest and love others with a huge amount of quality instead of quantity. I’ve already started to invest in this person again and it’s been great.
“But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
We were still sinners when Christ died for us and we are still sinners today and need Jesus just the same. Every, single, day. I hope you are encouraged that if you haven’t truly been investing in others and loving them, start today. Even if you have been falling short, confess that to God and choose to live differently by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We are called to make disciples…so what else are we really going to do with our lives anyway? We best make disciples as we invest in others. Jesus has invested in us, and if God Himself invests in us, we can surely invest in others.