Following on from last week’s blog I have been chewing over criticism some more. One of my younger brothers had been living with us and had just moved to York to do a masters. I was keen for him to find a good church after I knew he’d had potentially faith damaging experiences during his degree. Using my connections I arranged to meet him at a church not far from his house. I knew a few of the members to varying degrees and thought it would be a good place to start.
In one of his first conversations James, my brother, met Luke Smith. And I am forever grateful that he did as James is now thriving. I introduced James to Luke at some point as Luke is one of the G2 leaders. I saw them in conversation and later James told me that Luke had challenged him about work. You see James was reluctant to commit to a church until he had secured himself a job, so when Luke asked James if he thought he might start attending G2 James replied that it depended on what job he got. Luke said something to this effect – ‘I don’t know you but can I challenge you?’ Permission secured he ploughed on ‘Why don’t you find a church you want to go to and pray that God gets you a job that fits around that?’
James did this and is now a cell leader and more involved in church that he ever has been. Luke delivered his piece in a kind and thoughtful fashion, but let’s not miss the point, Luke had seen some wood in James’ eye and he was letting him know. He didn’t wait to obey the polite rules of society because he lives for the kingdom rules of God, he helped a brother see more clearly. Make no mistake Luke was criticising my brothers initial statement. I am privileged to be developing some links with this church and I’m thrilled to say this attitude seems to be present in more than one of the members.
I’d admire it because I find it so hard to do myself. To often I use the verse in Matthew to justify me backing off helping someone else because I couldn’t possibly be a hypocrite – the plank in my eye is far too large. Or I go for it and I’m too gung-ho. At some point in his life (maybe this one) Luke had to choose to step out and help others see more clearly and has learnt how to be bold but caring. I pray that I may be able to do the same.