LORD HAVE MERCY!
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrew 12:2.
As a young Minister with a lot of zeal, passion and fire for God, coupled with my Deeper life background, I walked with a sense of ‘God’s deputy’, quick to discipline church members when they err as well as quick to tag a fallen soldier as not being really serious or deeply rooted enough to have overcome temptations as they come. I will met out disciplinary actions to others as a way to prove to people that I am a no nonsense Pastor. Oh yes, I wanted the people to know, you cannot do anything around me and get away with it. The mode of discipline was actually more to protect my image and that of the Church rather than to get the erring person get fully restored to faith and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I had maintained such stance until while trying to help someone, I had a narrow escape experience which I will talk about some day. It’s easy as a pastor to play to the gallery just to maintain the status quo while the fallen is crushed beyond redemption.
On a certain day, I had a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit while meditating, He said to me, ‘you are not my standard for holiness, and no man is. You discipline someone to protect your image before people and receive accolades while the fallen remains unrecovered. They go through the stipulated discipline as a religious requirement rather than a healing and recovery process. Do your best to get someone restored while keeping a safe distance from the sin’
Jesus was more interested in saving the soul of the woman caught in adultery than He was about the opinion of the people. He was more interested in saving the household of Zacheaus than He was about the past of Zacheaus or His own image.
After that encounter, I changed my approach in dealing with people who made genuine mistakes.
Sometimes, seeing the way some people judge those with weaknesses in the area of their strength is humbling. We seem to quickly forget that no sin is superior to the other before God. You might not be a fornicator, an adulterer, a thief or a killer, but you are also not different if you’re laden with bitterness, unforgiveness, envy, malice, jealousy, backbiting or slandering. I just imagine God replaying the video of everyone’s past before everyone. I sometimes also imagine God playing the video of some people’s current private life for everyone to see. Imagine how humble all of us would be.
Many people are hurting and seating on their hurts in our churches, from the pulpit to the pew because of several acts of betrayal of trust.
No man should be your holiness goal rather than Jesus. This helps your heart when you see traits that are unbecoming of a brother/sister or mentor.
When something happens around you, use it as an opportunity to reassess your own life and make amends where necessary rather than throw stones.
Pray passionately for the person(s) at the centre of the storm from your heart for God’s visitation and restoration.
Reach out to them where you can.
In summary, let he that standeth take heed, lest he falls.