Letter From Earnest – August 2017
Sin , Faith, Duty
Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says “I repent, forgive him.” Luke 17 (NIV)
Do you wonder who the Lord Jesus is talking about when he refers to these little ones? We automatically think He is exclusively talking about children. But I think He would also include anyone we have authority over, anyone who answers to us. With that in mind, I think about the people who work with me here at Youth Horizons along with the children we serve in the mentoring and residential programs. Sometimes, in our humanness, we grow weary and it’s difficult to maintain a spirit of encouragement, affirmation, and patience. It takes a considerable amount of control to be kind and courageous when you need to direct, reprimand or discipline someone who has been hurt by people they have trusted in the past. If you don’t take into consideration what they have already been through you can very easily offend them. I have found that, frequently, the young people we are serving, and sometimes even the staff, take it very personally when you have to exercise authority over them. You need to do what God is directing you to do. Always try to preserve the dignity of the person that you are dealing with. It takes a lot of energy, but in the long run it is the better way.
When dealing with the poor and needy, remember they are precious in His sight. When dealing with your husband, wife or children, remember; God cares how you talk to them. Likewise, when dealing with paid staff their dignity and humanity should be given consideration. Please don’t ever let it be said “I don’t believe in God because the people who are supposed to reflect Him didn’t demonstrate any of His attributes in dealing with me.”
So in closing, don’t hesitate to go back and apologize, because the truth is; we are all His little ones and we are precious in His sight.
You have my gratitude,
Your brother in Christ,