Seriously, that wasn’t very nice. Quite honestly I was so caught off guard by their comment that I was speechless.
Now a couple weeks later I have mastered my witty comeback, “Well, where would you be had no one taken the time to teach you the skills that you now possess?”
Ok, so maybe not so witty, but true…right?
I couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy in training that this was the “leader” he was placed under. If he would make such a comment to me, someone simply passing by, can you imagine the attitude he put off on his pupil?
Then I thought about how “seasoned” Christians can sometimes by to the “newbies.” Are we responding to their questions and uncertainties with an attitude of, “I hate teaching new people stuff” or are we being gracious and patient as someone once was with us?
You know, I think that so many young Christians quit because they’ve been made to feel that they had to have it all together the moment they received salvation. Someone in a position of spiritual authority has made the life of faith seem like an instantaneous change rather than a continual growth process. So when they slip, and we all know they will, rather than seek guidance & forgiveness, they just walk away feeling frustrated and defeated because they were unable to reach the impossible standards that were set before them.
I know that we can’t all be teachers, nor do I consider myself one, but in my opinion, once you claim to be a Christian, you have automatically become an example that people will look to for guidance. I do see myself as a willing vessel who is happy to share what I learn from the Word as it not only helps others, it helps me as well. It is not an annoyance to help a new Christian with their walk, it is a privilege to watch them learn and transform into a new creation.
As you encounter those who have just begun their journey, withhold the judgment and go heavy on the love. Think of who you were when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior, if you were like me, you were absolutely clueless what to do after you prayed the sinners prayer! Be gracious and gentle and help people. Help them overcome the obstacles that trip them up as opposed to becoming agitated that they are still having the same problems.
Don’t be like the guy who hates teaching new people stuff, be like Jesus who lived for it.
“Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)