“I tried my best to make you a better person… ”
These words were a part of a SMS forwarded to me from a wounded hurting friend of mine. “Now I give up and give you over to God. I will keep praying for you. That’s all I can do now” – the text continued. This was written by a pscyhologist now in pastoral care. Now before I go any further, let me clarify that the sender has helped the recipient much and has been there for the person. Also, the background to the text was provided to me by the recipient so I don’t know the other side of the story… so I hope I’m not taking a situation of its context. And I pray for forgiveness if I am doing that and injuring someone’s personality in the process.
Nonetheless, these words did not sit well with me. Apparently my friend had not been taking part in the communion table for a while as she had considered herself not being ‘worthy’ to take part given ‘how bad a sinner’ she was. Suddenly she had desired to partake of it and texted the pastor asking for advice. The following line is what I’m told is the reply for her request, and which preceded the text portion mentioned above, “That is a decision you have to make, I can’t make it for you”. “Self righteousness and pride” is what came to my mind.
Now this friend has a broken and contrite heart, she longs to know Jesus more intimately and she desires to dig deeper into God’s Word. Yet the complicated strongholds that hold are captive thanks to a majorly dysfunctional childhood are taking their time to be broken down.
First of all, NO human being can make anyone a better person! GOd has asked us to speak the truth in love with each other. However, we have NO RIGHT whatsoever to FORCE our opinions or counsel down another person’s throat. Besides, if God gives you and me FREE WILL and doesn’t force us to do anything, who are we to force others? We may very well be judging by appearances for all that matters. In fact, we won’t know what God’s purpose and perfect plan is for the other individual’s life.
The beautiful part of being a believer is knowing that we are all being transformed to be like Jesus. In fact each one of us (believer or not) have been created in the image of God. Our past sins have been forgiven thanks to the sacrifical work of Christ on the cross. It is by His grace and His grace alone that we repent and yield to His perfect plan increasingly. Scriptures are clear that we are now saints through Him. Paul pens to the church of God, “to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy” (1 Cor.1:2). The NKJV translates this as “called to be saints”. In some instances the NIV uses the term “God’s people” where the NKJV employs the term “saints”. There are a number of verses where believers are referred to as saints.
Yes, you and I who believe are saints, we are righteous! We partake of the Lord’s supper in REMEMBRANCE of Him, that His Body was given for us and His blood was shed for us (Luke 22:19). Such sacrificial love sets us to tears, such that we are spurred on by God’s love to grow in Him and closer to Him. It is also a reminder that it’s NOT by our works but by His grace. Jesus knew what Judas was scheming and He made it clear at the Last Supper that He knew. In fact, at that time He said, “Woe to that man by whom He (the Son of Man) is betrayed (Luke 22:22). Noenetheless did Jesus cast Judas aside and forbid him from taking part in the Lord’s supper?
Let us keep our focus on Jesus, on the cross… Let us humble ourselves at the foot of the cross, leaving our pride and human wisdom right there so that we can rely on GOd’s power instead. THen follows (in His time and by His Spirit), the broken-hearted bound up, captives freed and prisoners released from darkness! Let’s be a people who build each other up and not tear each other down remembering at the end of the day, we are merely vessels unto God and not the actual transformers!!!