Thursday, October 20, 2005

Another great devotional

A Promise Kept
by John Fischer

In today's crowded marketplace, few people have the time or inclination to bother with claims, Christian, or otherwise. Words are not enough. People have seen and heard it all. Relationships that mean anything are made on promises that transcend thinking or words. These promises are rooted in trust because they become promises kept. What does that mean to keep a promise?

I have a friend who will shut the door on his office and bear his heart to me. This is a huge privilege and not anything to take lightly. This man has trusted me with his deepest inner feelings and frustrations; what am I going to do about that? Say I'll pray for him and walk away? Offer some advice and a few scripture verses? No, I'm going to try and do something about it. I'm going to look into whatever resources I have that might be able to shed some light on his situation. Yes, I'm going to pray about it, but I will also agonize over it, as if it were my own problem. In fact that is an important part of fellowship. What is his becomes mine in some way. If it doesn't I haven't given up anything for anybody. Isn't that what it means to bear someone else's burdens?

What is true fellowship if it isn't this? We stand inside each other's shoes. We look at the world through someone else's eyes. We see them and we see ourselves in the same situation.

Look at Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. He got inside her shoes and saw someone well aware of her own guilt. She didn't need to hear she was a sinner -- she already knew that -- she needed to be forgiven. In contrast, the guys standing around ready to stone her never had a clue about her because they never got out of their own holy shoes to even give her a second thought. Elated that they had caught a sinner red-handed, they knew they were right on this one. And of course you know Christ's response to them. Since they could not see their own sin when they looked at her, they had His permission to stone her to death.

If I look at someone else and see only their sin, I have Christ's permission to do the same. (I know of what I speak. You should see my rock collection!) But if I look at someone and see my own sin, my need, my frustration, because I have identified my need in theirs, then I have no stones to throw. My hands are free. I can help.

You can, too. And isn't this the kind of help we all want: Help from someone who understands and passes no judgment?


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