I’m Giving Up
I think too much of myself. At least the way I approach ministry makes it seem like it (weird how my actions can make it seem like I see myself as a savior but in my mind I often see myself as far from capable). It seems like every week that passes in our urban, poverty-stricken, addiction-ridden community brings up more and more people in crisis situations. They come to the church looking for healing, or answers, or a place to get right with God so he’ll respond by giving them the things they don’t have. So often it seems impossible to even dig through all the anger, pain, bad theology, bitterness, selfishness, and brokenness to even get to the heart–theirs and mine. As these crises come up I put pressure on myself to fix them–to reconnect people with God, fix their housing situation, give them some sage advice that will fix their broken relationships, or otherwise be the savior of the moment.
But today I decided to give up. I was meeting with someone–a man riddled by anger and hate toward God–and as I was desperately searching my mind for the silver bullet that would bring him closer to God, heal all his pain, and adjust the theology that is driving him from the God who loves him–the Holy Spirit just stopped my brain and said, “that is my job.” And at that moment all I felt was relief. Fixing all the crap–it’s not my job. I don’t need to be a PR guy for God. The only healing I have to offer is out of the healing I have received. I can’t force someone to believe God loves them and I can’t fix all the problems. So I’m giving up all that–or at least I want to. But I know myself and I’m pretty sure that within weeks (or days or even hours) something will come up and I’ll be back to my old ways–trying to do God’s job for him. I’m not sure how to quit.
Don’t get me wrong–I know that God can use me to listen, pray, share Scripture, encourage, challenge, provide, and otherwise participate in what he wants to do. But in doing all of that I want to rely on his direction and his power. I want my actions to display what my heart believes–that the Holy Spirit will do far more to mend brokenness and reconcile people to God than I ever can. Without his work mine is pointless.
Lord, help me to quit taking the responsibility for seeing the change in others (and myself). Help me to serve you faithfully and trust the outcomes to you. Help anyone else who struggles with the same thing to do that too.