How Do We Really Reach Out?

So we write about the Lord Jesus and His Gospel of salvation in earnest obedience to carry out His great commission. She (this hungry soul who left me a comment about two weeks ago) told me she was surprised to see the number of women Christian bloggers who blog about their faith. We write to encourage, to inspire other women to have a more intimate relationship with the Lord and to remain steadfast in the faith. We are zealous in sharing our experiences and lessons learned in our own journeys of faith. We reach out to the saved, the unsaved, and the in-between (those who still have doubts about their faith and salvation).

But when a real reader – a breathing, feeling human soul – comes out in the open and bravely speaks of her beliefs or non-beliefs of God and tells you something that you don’t really expect and which makes your heart sink – how do you react?

When I read her comments, my initial reaction was, “This is too tragic!” And my heart sank. She commented on an old post about my testimony on our marriage, how the Lord reunited us, solved our problems, and restored our family. She said it was great but she doesn’t believe that Jesus is the only One who could make a marriage work (after both spouses have failed, according to my testimony). She doesn’t believe that He must be the center of a marriage, and added that He’s not the center of her marriage and neither her life. She doesn’t believe that God is merciful. In fact, she believes the opposite.

At first, I thought she was an angry woman who hated God and I didn’t want to have anything to do with her. But I read her comment again and I saw a soul who was crying out for truth, for enlightenment, for love, for grace.

Have we been missing out on souls that have come our way just because we thought they are against our faith and are enemies of God?

It is the Spirit’s gift of discernment that one could be able to look beyond the cold, unbelieving facade. That beneath the ice is a grieving soul hungry for God’s love and grace. And that’s what I felt about her and I cried for her. Really, how do we reach out to a soul who believes God is not merciful? She asked how could a merciful God allow the deaths of innocent children?

If God is not merciful, is He then cruel? I remember a time in 2006 when we were in a small hotel in Rosario, Batangas to support the crusade there. At dawn of our second day, my sides were hurting badly from non-stop coughing that wracked my whole body. I was just recovering from my illness that almost took my life and the fierce coughing, aching sides, and lack of sleep were just too much. The coughing couldn’t be stopped, my husband was singing praises continuously on his knees beside the bed, and something was whispering into my ears so my mind was crying out over and over trying to snuff out the enemy’s persistent voice, “You’re not cruel, God! You’re not cruel!”

I could have easily believed then that God was cruel but I didn’t want to choose to believe that.

And now I meet someone who says so. Do I tell her that she’s wrong and then bombard her with tons of verses? Would she really be able to receive and absorb them all from the place of grieving? Would she even start to listen? For how can one believe if one doesn’t listen first? Or, what if she knows everything and yet, because of her grief and bitterness, she cannot get herself  to believe?

So, I did my best to feel what she was feeling and it wasn’t hard. Many times I had been in a position to question God’s mercy or kindness. At one time, I had really believed that He is good and gracious to others but not to me. If we had experienced these things one time or another, maybe we know how to really reach out to the one on “the other side”. Certainly, we do not condemn, sermon, or criticize.

So, what do we do?

We give them grace. That’s what the Lord wants us to really give – grace. Him. We give grace by letting the other feel our sincere love. For how do we show that GOD IS LOVE to someone who doesn’t believe so, except he/she feels our love? We tell them how we have received grace despite ourselves – our sins, our disobediences, our hard hearts. We tell them about our testimonies and let them know we had been there, in that place of bitterness, coldness, doubt and unbelief.

Show them the grace of God which is at work in our lives. This has to flow towards them. They must know, see, and feel this grace as real and believe that this could be theirs, too.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Col. 4:6 NIV)

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My gratitude list ~ the things I’m thankful to the Lord for:

30. The visit of a sister in Christ (who used to work for us) with her family – glad to be of service.

31. Visit to a good old friend’s home bringing her a pound cake which I baked.

32. My husband’s BFF from Australia visiting our home for the first time last Friday; they have been friends forever! And the joy of being reunited with him talking about the good old days was really precious!

33. The Lord’s constant light upon my soul, ever leading, ever guiding.

34. This precious, precious breath of life! Deliverance from the throes of death and the fear and great suffering that came with it! Our God is mighty to save!!! His mercies are immeasurable!!!

I’m linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. Mary Gemmill says:

    This post was really helpful and timely because right now my grown daughter and I are in the middle of a misunderstanding- you have ministered to my spirit with your words- I pray for GRACE to chararcterise my relationship with my daughter,
    God Bless you.

    • RinaPeru says:

      My heart overflows with gratitude to the gracious Lord for using this post to minister to you, Mary. Our God is really faithful to provide us help in our spiritual aspirations, both for ourselves and for others. Praying for success for you and your daughter!

  2. Excellent. You know I often think that a couple who feel they have a very good marriage apart from Jesus is like a woman who has only known life with fibromyalgia. She thinks things are great, that she feels fine. And they, out of the blue, she gets well. What she thought was great is NOTHING compared to the new level of life and vitality she is experiencing now.

  3. Joanie Qualls says:

    Rina, this is one of the best, most important truths of helping many others!!!!!! It needs to be heard and heeded and prayed about all the time in caring for others. And the times we would like others to so
    care about us when hurting at times, ….. even when we have a big smile on our faces and crying on the inside. The Holy Spirit wants us to listen to His leading us at these times.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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