Don't Offend the One You Want to Help

"How did you keep from despairing during my years of spiritual highs and lows?" a friend asked. Through God's grace she had gained spiritual stability and now was trying to help another new Christian. Watching the new convert stumble, she wondered how to remain encouraged.

"First of all, I'm not going to say I always kept faith for you," I admitted. "But the Lord helped me to say nothing if I lacked assurance. However, my focus was not on you. My concern was, 'Am I pleasing Christ?' I wanted to be sensitive to God. What did He want me to say to you?"

Soon after our conversation I read 1 Corinthians 2:2: "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

Two things happen when we determine to "know only Christ." First, we discover we can trust Him when we no longer are trusting ourselves to meet another's needs.

Second, we free the other person to respond to God. Our wrong remarks and disapproving attitudes can hinder a person from hearing God. Unkind hasty remarks often offends the one we want to help. "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city" (Proverbs 18:19).

Paul's phrase teaches us that being sensitive to the Holy Spirit is our most important job when dealing with others.

Thank You, Lord, that You are faithful to put Your thoughts in my mind when I look to You.

"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:13).
by Aletha Hinthorn