I can be so guilty of this…….
In my passion and zeal to be the hands and feet of Jesus, I can be so motivated to help someone that I give them what I think they need.
I sincerely want to love and serve people, but I attempt to give them my wisdom or share from my experience because….after all….it will help them.
I can be so quick to think of and share biblical teaching and expound on the subtleties of doctrine in order to help them acquire the correct truth to apply in their situation.
Sometimes, though, I believe Jesus is asking me to hit the pause button.
Instead of being quick to jump into ministering, serving, teaching, and leading mode, I may just need to point them to Jesus!
Here are some reasons why:
I am not Jesus.
Obvious right? Well….if I have been doing this Christian thing for a long time, and I’ve accumulated a lot of spiritual formation and discipline, and I know I’m supposed to share it, then I’m being a good Christian doing what Jesus wants me to do. The problem is that I might start thinking I know what’s best, and I’ve got the answer. Then, my ego gets in the way, and I start feeling pretty good about myself giving them what I think they need and so on.
If I point them to Jesus, I am pointing them to the “author and finisher of our faith”. He knows way better what they need and don’t need. If I feel led by the Holy Spirit to say something, sure, I will certainly say what He’s leading me to say. But, first, I need to point them to Jesus.
They may not be ready to hear.
So, I have this well of knowledge and wisdom. My experience has taught me some lessons, and I’ve got plenty of stuff to say. Great. But, they may not be ready to hear it. If the person I’m trying to help is hurting or confused, or maybe they aren’t at a place spiritually to hear a particular truth, then, what I have to say is not going to be very effective. It may even worsen the situation.
What they may be looking for in their difficult circumstance is simply to be heard or affirmed and to know that someone loves and cares for them. Pointing them to Jesus is the best way for them to feel accepted and loved in the midst of their difficulty. Then, they’ll be more open to hearing what I have to say.
They may want a quick fix.
The opposite may be true as well. Someone going through a difficult time might want me to just give them the answer or the solution so they don’t have to endure a situation with any difficulty. A butterfly breaking out of its chrysalis without the process of working for its release won’t develop strong wings. The difficulty of pushing its way out of the cocoon is what gives its strength. Sometimes God uses difficult circumstances in the same way to help us grow. Instead of giving that person the answer, I should point him to Jesus who will strengthen him during the process.
I may interrupt the deep work.
In my experience and the lessons learned from my journey, I may be quick to share it with someone who could benefit from it. To share my story to someone else brings my journey full circle and my experience becomes useful in the story of someone else! Yes, I totally believe God uses us in this way to help other people.
However, if I am too quick to share my story, I could short circuit the work God is trying to do in them. It’s like Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz.….she had to experience all those adventures for herself before she realized the truth- There’s No Place Like Home!
If I give them the answer I discovered because I’ve already learned it, then maybe the lesson won’t grab hold because they haven’t experienced it for themselves. If I point them to Jesus, then I am guiding them to the Source of Life, and their journey will unfold as they know Him.
Because no matter the circumstance or difficulty someone is going through, the main thing is that they know Jesus. Yes, of course, in a salvation kind of way, but also in an intimate relationship kind, obedience kind of way. Pointing them to Jesus will help them draw close to Him and know Him better. Then, they will be more likely to discern their journey and be ready to hear any wisdom or truth that Jesus wants me to share.
How Do I Point Them to Jesus?
You’ve probably seen the shirt- Ya’ll Need Jesus.
As much as I’d like to holler it, bluntly declaring this across the room is not going to be effective.
Rather, pointing them to Jesus looks a lot more like helping them be seekers and disciples of Jesus on their own.
-Pray for them to seek Jesus with all their hearts.
-Pray for them to have a hunger and desire for His Presence.
-Pray for them to receive wisdom and understanding from the Holy Spirit.
-Challenge them to seek truth from Scripture and apply it to their life.
-Ask open ended questions- “What’s God saying to you about this?” “Have you asked Jesus about this?” “What Scriptures are speaking to you right now?”
When an response is needed from us, the Holy Spirit will prompt accordingly.
Pointing them to Jesus helps me remember the work is His and not mine. Pointing them to Jesus helps me remember that we’re all in this journey together, and I need to be pointed to Jesus just as much as anybody else!
Who are you pointing to Jesus?