This morning after I finished up my 8 mile unicycle ride and 45 minutes of weight lifting, I decided to go play a round of disc golf and give my dog a chance to stretch her legs. I’ve been working on changing my throwing technique so I usually throw 3-4 discs per hole just to get some extra practice in. On the 5th hole, I threw out 3 discs and started walking toward them to continue on toward the hole. At the same time I saw a mom with her 5 kids out for an early morning walk at the park. One of the little girls saw my disc and decided to ‘help me out’. She ran down, picked up and proceeded to bring it back to me. Unfortunately for me, that was the one I had thrown the furthest. She trotted up, smiled and took off toward her mom. Boy was she nice, but I had to fight every nerve in my body to not yell out “That isn’t helping!!”
This incident really got me thinking about Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” How many things have you done, even with all the right motives, and it still didn’t get you anywhere? I think we would all be surprised at the number of things we do that were really rather pointless in the big picture. We’re so good at doing, we want to help, we want to witness, we want to make a difference, but we cannot continue acting without learning first. John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” Jesus makes it very straight forward, the problem, too many of us obey what we THINK he wants us to do. There’s a huge difference.
People will blow your mind if you actually ask questions. I love listening to people talk and I’ve been amazed at the things people honestly believe God wants them to do. I was reading about a family that was stopped by Highway Patrol completely naked. They told the officer that God had told them to sell all they had and move to Texas (or somewhere near there). Obviously they missed the part about selling the car as well if that’s what God really said. It sounds like they read a verse, got caught up in some inspirational moment and thought that is what God wanted them to do. Granted, that’s not an everyday example, but people make decisions about how to act based upon the same faulty logic, day in and day out. Ignorance will kill you.
Right after I got out of High School, I got a job in Chicago. I was a small town boy that moved to the big city and boy did I have a lot to learn about people. I’ll never forget the first time a homeless person asked me for some money to buy food. I wanted to help so I gave him a couple bucks and went on. I did this a couple times before someone made the observation that many of them were so addicted to booze and drugs, that any money I gave them wouldn’t go for food at all. This made me think. I still wanted to help them, God wanted me to help them, but I was actually supporting their destructive lifestyle. My actions needed to change. It’s so easy to think we’re helping when in fact we are making things worse! I prayed about it, talked with a few people and came up with a constructive way of dealing with the situation. At the time I wasn’t involved with a church ministry to the area, but I decided that I was going to help various people that I ran into. When someone wanted some money for food, I’d take them to a restaurant and buy them some. It worked out great, I never had someone turn me down. The bonus, I could talk to them about Christ. I know a lot of these guys hear preaching when they go to a shelter so I wasn’t telling them anything new, but I was showing them what it meant.
If you’re not seeing God bless what you’re doing, make sure you take some time to sit down, evaluate your actions in light of scripture (along with some healthy advice from your spiritual leaders) and make sure that you’re not working against yourself. God will NEVER call you to do something that violates a biblical principle. Jesus wants us to do what he commands, what did he say? How do we live that out? Answer that, and you’ll see God do some amazing things in your life.