Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tongues gone wild

What exactly are you trying to prove? I find it difficult to believe that is actually how you talk with people. Do you talk to your friends like that?

Tell me, if I came into your home and very aggressively told you about the mistakes you've made and how the problems in your life are God teaching you a lesson and you need to learn this lesson to move forward in life, how would you feel?

I'm venting. I didn't mean to vent but it happened. I started thinking and it's coming out now. I just don't think we understand the words we use when we're trying to reach out to some people.

There's a lot of pressure in these situations to act holy, or godly, or like we have a fix for their lives. When we're ministering to the houseless, the drug addicts, and the impoverished. We're always trying to think of some sentence that might connect with their lives somehow and make them realize their utter depravity and total dependence on the Lord.

But you can't just go into someone's home - or lack thereof - and tell them their story. You have to join in their story, become a part of it. You have to listen and empathize.

You can't just go in there and spout of answers to all their problems, and guilt trip them into finding a job. You can't tell them it's easy to get a job if only you try hard enough. And please don't tell them they're lunatics because they try the same thing every day hoping for different results.

Would you talk to your friend like this? No! Then why would you tell a stranger these things? They don't know you, and more importantly you don't know them. It means nothing to them, but it might be offensive. And it's not the offensive Gospel, it's just being rude.

Turn the page...

And why are you judging people who come out to help? Do you really think people have to be perfect before they can sit with houseless friends for dinner? Maybe they'll be changed in the process. Maybe they'll learn something. Where is your patience?

I can't believe how hypocritical you are. You're judging them for being there and doing things wrong, but you haven't been there in over a month and a half. You're so high and mighty. Hypocrite!

Maybe it's not just about the poor. Maybe it's also about the wealthy you're ministering with. Maybe we're all in this together, and it's messy. There is no right way. Everyone is different. Their needs are different. Their personalities are different. There isn't a formula for relationships.

Love isn't color by number.

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