Earlier this week, I wrote the uncomfortable blog post At Least I’m Not Like Them. I say uncomfortable because it makes us wiggle in our seats a bit, or at least it did me. It is about the world being full of comparisons. The kinds that Christians are guilty of by comparing "respectable sins" with "big sins." We often times look at others and say, “well at least I’m not like them.” So if you haven’t read that post, I ask you to do so for a good background into where I’m going here. Another thing we Christians tend to do is try to empower ourselves to save others. But that’s not our job, it’s God’s job.
I badly know what it’s like to want to save someone I love so much. To take all their hurt, pain, or anger away. To want to shake them into believing God’s word and the truth He alone has for our lives. Because to me it is so simple. I’ve seen how much more peaceful and joyful life can be with Jesus as my Savior. Is life always easier as a believer? Absolutely not! But we have His promise that He works all things together for our good. And that is what gives us peace and joy through some of those most difficult situations. And it’s also why we yearn so badly to save others – we know what He is capable of doing in our lives.
Sometimes the harder we try, the further we can push others away from believing though. That’s because we don’t have the power to save. We only have the power to love and plant seeds. The best way I try to remind myself is to envision that I’m merely a gardener. I cultivate the land and plant the seeds with the tools that I’ve been given. But I alone can’t make anything bloom. It takes period watering and light from an ultimate source, the sun. In the same way with others, we can plant seeds by being a living example to others of Jesus Christ in our lives, and by loving. We can add tender care and periodically “water” those seeds by not giving up on them and by showing them Christ in practical ways. But we have to allow the ultimate source of light, THE SON, to save them and grow them taller, reaching toward Him.
So many times we try to make things so much harder than they really are. God never asked us to save others, and it is very prideful to think that we even remotely have the power to do something that only He can. If we do our job by planting those seeds, loving, extending grace, and cultivating those relationships – then I assure you He will provide the light that will allow them to bloom and reach for Him. That doesn’t always mean they will accept it. But we can have peace in knowing we did our part and God has done His.