Often times I find myself afraid to reach out to those I know, and those I don’t. Why do I feel this way? I suppose it is because: I fear rejection, I feel unworthy, I am concerned over negative opinions about me or because I have trust issues. One writer, as he studied God’s word, wrote “Jesus left comfort. He left the presence of angels and His heavenly Father. He willingly walked into an atmosphere that was unholy and imperfect. He stepped out of a magnificent and perfect kingdom into a world that was confused, stained, and deadly. But, He walked into the lives of those who need Him.” And those who needed Christ did not even know it, and I was one of them.
As I study God’s word I become mesmerized by two words in particular: “Jesus Went.” When I read this I thought, Jesus reached out to others. Then I asked myself this question. Did Jesus reach out, listen, and share his life with people he didn’t know? I found, he did in fact share himself more with those he did not personally know than he did with those he knew. Why did he do this? Because he was building something very important: Kingdom relationships.
So, after a moment of self-examination and because I desire to trust Jesus on a deeper level, there are three things I would like to do better. I have prayed and asked the Spirit of God to help me. What are the three things you ask?
- Reaching out: To those I know, but more importantly to those I don’t.
- Sharing Life: Sharing my struggles, my pain, and my joys; with those I know, but more importantly with those I don’t.
- Listening: Truly listening for understanding, not for judgement, not for condemnation, and not to offer a solution; with those I know, but more importantly with those I don’t.
A downtrodden and hurting man I befriended, once asked me, “Jim, why did you reach out to me?” I said, “Because, you were wounded and Christ told me I could help. Also, because I truly believe God’s Kingdom is built one relationship at a time.” I sometimes think of how small God’s Kingdom would be if Jesus remained only with his twelve, and “Never – Went.”