Sunday, September 23, 2018

Who do you let encourage you?

Who do you let encourage you?"Are you drinking much at the moment?”
“Yeah.”
“Me too......It’s good for you.”
“Yeah, you need a bit.”

A couple of guys were visiting our “Drop In” lunch, and sat just outside the door, drinking coffee while I washed the dishes. For some people, our small Drop In space is more about having a place to be still than getting a feed. It’s a place to escape the problems of the day for an hour or two, with friendly conversation if you feel sociable, or a sleep on the couch if you need it. As I listened to the guys encourage each other in the art of pretending to enjoy alcoholism, I realised that our attitude to our struggles is defined by with whom we choose to share. It is easy to find someone who will let you off the hook, and help you find excuses for not trying to change. However this sort of friendship is no more friendship than a doctor is doing his job by leaving a skin cancer alone. “What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words” (Proverbs 18:21). I wished that I could have been a part of the conversation that was happening outside the Drop In door, but I hardly knew the guys, and they had not invited me to offer an opinion. They had chosen to sit outside by themselves, and were not really looking for a different point of view.

At Missionheart we are privileged to be invited to listen to stories of struggle, to pray with someone and to see God work healing and hope into their life. It is a joy to spend time with people as they work through issues; God is amazing and generous. However, when someone chooses to stop talking to the people who are supporting them, and avoids us, it is always a sign that they do not want to hear anymore about letting God be in charge. They know that we will tell them the choices they are making are destructive. They know we will offer to listen, and to help, and to pray. And they know that God will surely make it uncomfortable for them to remain in destruction.

When I find myself searching out someone to back up my excuses I know it is time to pray. Often, all it takes is for me to be honest with God about my problem, and He shows me the way through. When a friend invites me to be a part of their life, I hope to remember the consequences of my words, and speak preservation into their life.

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