Maybe you have heard the statement “Hurting people, hurt people.” I know that I have seen the truth of this statement as I have been hurt by those that were hurting. I am sure that I am also guilty of hurting people when I have been hurting. What we often fail to see is that while hurting people, hurt people, healed people, help heal people. I am sure that we all want to be in that second group.
We just concluded a series that focused on leadership in the key areas of our lives. It began by looking first at leading myself, and then we moved onto leadership in the marriage/family, in our church, at our job/school and finally this past week, in our community. The challenge of these messages has been simply to bring Biblical values into these areas of our lives as a leader. Discussing this in my Men’s small group this morning I was hit with an insight on how we often compartmentalize and then prioritize these different areas. When we handle them in this fashion we often start with the highest priority then move down the line to the lowest. This approach means that our lowest priority, community for many, gets neglected. Yet what hit me is when we implement Biblical values in all aspects of our lives we impact all the other areas too. If for instance, you impact someone in your church, you will not only impact the person, but their spouse/family, their work/school and everyone that comes into contact with them. As they are healed by God’s working in their lives they will also be enabled to help others.
I am afraid that all too often we fail to bring healing in the lives of others due to our perspective of others. We often limit our ministry based on lifestyle choices, dress, beliefs, and even political affiliation to name a few. It is as if we are thinking, “Let them get this area of their life worked out then I will minister to them.” God does not work that way. Jesus put it this way to His followers, “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Matthew 20:28) Jesus knew that before a person could help another person, they need to be spiritually healed. He sacrificed to minister to those that the religious establishment avoided. The end result was a movement that has been changing the world for the past 2000 years.
And Jesus primarily did this by seeing people the way that God sees them. We read that Jesus, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) Now Jesus knew everything about these people. He knew their weaknesses. He knew their failures. You name the flaw, and He knew it. He also knew the bad choices they had made along the way. Yet, when He looked at others, it was not that, “Hey, they messed up, tough….” Rather He saw their need for a relationship with Himself. It did not matter if it was an “insider” religious person like Nicodemus or an “outsider” like the Samaritan woman at the well. He knew, if these people would enter into a relationship with Himself, they would be changed from the inside out. He said it this way to Nicodemus, “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” (John 3:3)
So let me challenge you to look at those around you from Jesus’ perspective. Make an effort to look past the clothing, hygiene, moral choices and even political affiliation to treat others that way that Jesus would treat them.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson