It is easy to say every soul is extremely important, but how important souls are to you depends on what think of and how you relate to that soul.
Think you’re the “strong” Christian? Having difficulty with other Christians? Listen to the divinely inspired answer on how to cope with brethren whom you might consider weak in the faith.
Sometimes we have problems or concerns with others, maybe even believe those problems to be in fact sinful. How do you handle these situations? What did Jesus teach? Jesus gives answers to these questions and just as importantly, His authority when you handle things His way.
There are at least three undeniable qualities about those who bring others to Jesus. 1) An intense love for God with a conviction that Jesus is the Christ, 2) They love their neighbor, and 3) they are a polarizing effect upon the world
I’m so excited about our upcoming meeting with Terry Francis on October 11-14. Here’s a taste of what brother Francis will bring us. Thanks for the guest post, Terry.
I Can’t Fix Them, I Should Just Work On Me
The Bob the Builder song is recognizable to many: “Bob the builder, can he fix it? Bob the builder, yes he can!” Peyton used to watch “Bob the Builder.” Today, kids watch “Handy Manny.” Both shows promote the same idea. With their assortment of animated tools, Bob and Manny can fix anything that is broken. While they complete the repair or construction project at hand, they also fix other people in the process.
Sometimes we suffer from the “Bob the Builder” syndrome. Insert your name to understand this problem: “_____________ the builder, can he fix it? ______________ the builder, yes he can!” Many suffer from this problem. We go through life attempting to fix every problem there is. We attempt to fix our mate, our kids, our friends, our brethren, etc.
If you suffer from “Bob the Builder” syndrome here is my advice: STOP! We have to stop trying to fix other people. All who suffer from “Bob the Builder” syndrome must realize we are incapable of fixing others. One can teach his brethren how to avoid sinful behavior, but he can’t fix them by making them stop their behavior. Each person must fix himself. A father can teach his children about the value of hard work and dedication, but he can’t make them practice those values. Each of his children must make their own choices. A husband can lead in a godly way but he can’t force his wife to practice godly submission. She must make that choice. Often people feel compelled to fix other people in these areas because it is a reflection of their character. It isn’t. The behavior of other people does not define you.
It is interesting to note that in 1 Peter 3, Peter tells wives who have unbelieving husbands how to win them over. Peter didn’t say, “Fix him by preaching to him every morning and evening about the value of following God and going to heaven.” In contrast Peter said, “…be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1). Peter’s instruction was to encourage the unbelieving husband by being the best person they could be—not by fixing him.
One reason so many pretend to be “Bob the Builder” is it provides a good distraction. As long as one is fixing others around him, he can avoid fixing himself. Jesus spoke of the judging brother who sought to remove a speck from his brother’s eye instead of removing the log from his own (Matthew 7:3–5). The mistakes of others provide a distraction from being accountable. Fixing others is easier—and coincidentally more fun—than honestly evaluating and correcting one’s own mistakes. It’s similar to the neighborhood barber whose hair is shaggy and un-kept. He’s simply too busy fixing other people to take care of himself.
Start your recovery from “Bob the Builder” syndrome today. Focus on fixing yourself instead of others. That doesn’t mean you stop teaching and instructing those you love. It simply means you teach and allow them the freedom to choose how they respond. They may decide not to listen. If that is their choice, we must choose our own response. As parents, that may involve discipline. As brethren, it can also involve discipline when the church is involved. We must allow others to choose their own path—to fix their own life.
Isn’t that how God treats us? He could have fixed us against our own will. Instead, He simply gave us the Gospel and allows us to choose to fix our own lives. None of us will be held accountable for fixing anyone else—we are all accountable for fixing our own life. Stop fixing others and start fixing yourself today!
A few months ago, my wife convinced me to join the addictive online world of Facebook. I really enjoy it. I’ve made connections with lots of people from my past, present, and future. Sure, even the future. I’ve made new connections on there I’m sure will develop into great friendships.
One of my favorite parts of Facebook is friending. For you non-Facebook types, in this online world you connect with people by labeling them a friend. Early on, I started a joke with Marita that I was going to have more friends than she did even though she had been on Facebook for months before I had. The day I passed her I was sure to let her know. I’ve included Jim and Kim Boyd in my little fun. Right now, I have 427 friends. That’s pretty good, I think. Though Terry Francis has 505. I’m trying to catch up with him. I’ve got a distant cousin who has over 1000. I probably won’t catch up with him.
Mostly, it’s all in fun. I’m not really trying to have more friends than everyone. However, having friends is pretty important to me. I’m betting it’s pretty important to you as well. No one wants to feel they’re all alone. Everyone wants friends.
Obviously, the number one friend we all need is Jesus. Psalm 25:14 says, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.” We need the friendship of the Lord. When the Lord is our friend, we can turn to Him in our times of trouble and He will be our help. Hebrews 2:17-18 and Hebrews 4:14-16 both explain that Jesus can be a real help in our times of temptation. We need a friend like that.
However, at the same time, we need to remember that Jesus works through His church and the members of it. We need to develop friendships among God’s people. We can’t be one heart and soul if we don’t become friends (cf. Acts 4:32). We won’t weep with those who weep or rejoice with those who rejoice if we don’t become friends (cf. Romans 12:15). We certainly won’t confess to one another if we don’t become friends (cf. James 5:16).
Proverbs 18:24 tells us there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. That is the kind of friends we need to be to each other. When we are these kinds of friends, we’ll help each other get to heaven. That is why God has put us together. Don’t be ashamed to need friends. Don’t try to go it alone. God never intended us to make this journey on our own. He wants us to have friends. Whether we connect with our friends face-to-face, over the phone or in the virtual world of Facebook, we need to connect somehow. Work on your friendships and you’ll be working on your eternal destiny.
By the way, Marita, Jim, and Kim, in the time it took me to write this article, I have two more friends. I’m up to 429. Maybe someday you’ll catch up with me.