Monday, April 29, 2013

It is one thing to carry doubt, it is another thing to transfer it.

Have you ever been in those situations where you feel like you have totally run out of your faith bank and one more pull would either make or break you? A lot of times I have noticed when we find ourselves in that situation we often run to people to help us out of that "faithless" situation hoping that God would use them in that time of our need. However what we need to be careful of is how thin the line is between them helping you to get back on track or pushing even further off track. When you have been a "victim" of a friend's word pushing you off track you can somehow understand how delicate it can be when the roles are switched and you are the one offering advice or encouragement to another.

Just a few days ago I was reading a verse and it stood out to me for confirmation of a message I got long time ago. However I must have forgotten to "do" the message after "hearing" the message so of course reading the scripture was a reminder for me.

Psalm 73: 13-15 (NLT)
Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
I get nothing but trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain.
If I had really spoken this way to others,
I would have been a traitor to your people.
The psalmist was having one of those moments where he faces doubts of his faithful walk in God due to seeing the godless "prosper" - something we all feel at some point in our christian walk. After about 10 verses of him vocalizing his doubt to himself (and God) he pauses and explains why he did not do so to others - his neighbors  God's children, others walking in faith. Clearly he recognizes that doing that would have been wrong and he perceived it as being a traitor to them. 

Reading this verse first might not make too much sense until you read the story of the Isrealites and the 12 spies that were sent to scout the land. The story of Joshua, Caleb and the other 10 spies explains how discouragement/doubt can be transferred. The Isrealites pretty much looked up to these 12 spies to bring a report for them and whatever the report was, it was either going to "make or break" them. At the end of the day, 10 of them transferred their doubts to the Isrealites with their reports while only the 2; Joshua and Caleb gave an encouraging report. 

Numbers 13: 31-33 (NIV)
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
Unfortunately the doubts must have outweighed the faith because of the way the Isrealites responded;

Numbers 14: 1-4 (NIV)
That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
The message here is to know what you are transferring. It is better to be quiet to that friend than to discourage them even though it may not be intentional. The next time you have someone in need of encouragement or upliftment, ask God for the right words to share and be led by his spirit.

Stay blessed
Preserve your Saltiness

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