A Family Matter

http://www.flickr.com/ photos/davidklee/ 329670363/

Every family on planet earth has things that are discussed within the four walls of their home and are not for public display or discussion. They aren’t family secrets they are merely for private use only. These things are considered family matters.

Do you realize that there are things as followers of Christ that we should discuss within the four walls of the church that do not need to be discussed outside those four walls? There are some things that are family matters. As a body of believers we are a family. When you are in a family there are some things that you keep among each other. You don’t want the neighbors to know because they are matters that only a family would have knowledge of.

Jesus walked among the people for three years. In the time of his ministry he preached a kingdom message. He spoke to all who would listen about a kingdom that could be had on earth. In the time of his ministry he also had disciples, those that stuck close to him and traveled with him. Jesus took those disciples aside and taught them deeper things. Things the public was not ready for. He prepared them for a time when he would no longer be with them so that they could carry on his work. They had lengthy discussions about what he was teaching but if you notice they were always done away from the crowd of followers. It was simply a family matter.

We could all take a lesson from this. When we meet people who do not know Jesus our first instinct is to begin talking about everything we know. First off, it isn’t helpful because most people don’t know what we are talking about. For them, it’s like walking into a movie that has already begun. We need to slow down. We need to talk to them about the things Jesus talked about in his time. He talked to the people he came across about kingdom things that would help them. Things like their own pain and illness and issues that they were struggling with and how to overcome them. He recognized that they didn’t understand the principles of God. He had a message to be taught but the people he encountered had real needs now. They needed immediate help and a resolution if they were going to move forward in their lives. Saying things like ‘Jesus loves you’ does nothing for a person if that person doesn’t know him. It simply sounds kooky. Saying something about knowing the pain of a losing a loved one and what got you through that time in your life is more realistic and helpful. Listening to a need without judgment is better than a trite answer. Remember the family matters are for a later time. There are people with immediate needs out there that need to be helped now. They honestly don’t care that Jesus loves them if they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. They only want to know one thing; can you buy some groceries for them? Can you help?

There will be plenty of time to explain the whole history of your family later. For now, just meet them at their need. Be a friend who can help.

3 thoughts on “A Family Matter

  1. This is very good, I love the way you explain this, as I am reading this I am like “WOW” this is so true. When a person is desperate and in need and we reach out to help, they see the fruits of “Jesus loves you” you don’t need to tell them. They will feel and know “Jesus loves them” when the time is right. It happens to me sometimes I am going through a moment in my life and whatever the outcome which is usually God coming in and intervening, and reminding me of who HE is.

  2. I am a king of TMI. Proverbs claims “A fool likes the sound of his own voice…” and sometimes I think that’s me because I will gush information at people believing I’m being effective when all the while they are wondering who I am and why I’m talking at all.

    It wasn’t until my mid 30s that I got the fact that relationships are built like houses. First we need a foundation for it then the walls and roof to protect and nurture it. The only time we start picking out furniture is when the friendship grows to place of comfortable space.

    I’m still someone who loves to roll with the subject (one of my bands bought me a T-shirt that said “Help I’m talking and I can’t shut up!) but I’m more sensitive to the needs of others now. Another prover says, “A wise man thinks before he speaks…” I’m learning to do this.

    And another proverb says, “A man who speaks before he listens, it is to his folly and shame.”

    Those we encounter in the world are telling us things constantly. Our biggest problem is really listening to them and finding out what they need instead of our own 7 point needs assessment put out by the council of churches. We need to listen before we help or speak into other people’s lives. Jesus first met people’s needs then He planted into their lives seeds of the gospel.

    Thanks for the reminder, Susan.

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