Wednesday, November 15, 2023

What Is That To You?

“Peter…said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him,”…what is that to you? You follow me.” -John 21:21-22

A while back, I’d promised to occasionally call on my hero, Oswald Chambers, to share his thoughts on LifeAid 101. This morning I was reading in his most famous writing, “My Utmost for His Highest” and his words hit me like a ton of bricks. 

I don’t doubt for a second that God called me into the counseling world- the privilege to step alongside people and help them “bear their burdens.” But what He did not call me into was taking responsibility for their burdens. A lot of us parents, grandparents, and …people take on unhealthy amounts of responsibility for others. You might have read this devotional before, but let it sink into your soul. Enjoy Oswald (better said, enjoy God through Oswald):


•••“One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. You see someone suffering and say, “He will not suffer, and I will make sure that he doesn’t.” You put your hand right in front of God’s permissive will to stop it, and then God says, “What is that to you?” Is there stagnation in your spiritual life? Don’t allow it to continue, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. You will possibly find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another— proposing things you had no right to propose, or advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another person, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit. Your part is to maintain the right relationship with God so that His discernment can come through you continually for the purpose of blessing someone else. Most of us live only within the level of consciousness— consciously serving and consciously devoted to God. This shows immaturity and the fact that we’re not yet living the real Christian life. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him. When we are consciously aware of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have yet another level to reach— a level where all awareness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is completely eliminated.  A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God.”•••

It is SO good to, in God’s will, care and love others but not so good to take responsibility for others. I’m in charge of me and how I show up. It doesn’t mean I love any less. The truth is I’m able to love even more when I’m staying in His care, dependent on Him. May we all love the Lord our God and, in His care, love those around us.

By Eric Joseph Staples ©



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