All Things to All People!

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

There have been many times that I am amazed that society expects certain entities to be all things to all people. You read that something bad has occurred and then all of a sudden there is an outcry for the government or the church to do something about it or to take responsibility for fixing it. Only God can be all things to all people and expecting it from anyone else is just setting them, and you, up for failure.

The same can be said for living our lives. For many years I tried to be all things and do it all in my own powers, and there were times when I appeared to be making headway, but eventually, the bottom fell out, and there I was broken and defeated once again.

I recently read an article that outlined how trees all work together in order to grow. It spoke on how the roots form a support system and one brings in water, one brings nutrients, and another brings in the sun. No single tree has access to all but as they work together they can grow, thrive and withstand the storms of life.

Human beings also need to be part of a support system and each member brings something different to the table. I thank God for diversity. What a boring world we would live in if everyone was the same. It would be like having a pot luck and everyone showing up with meatballs.

As humans, and as Christians, we all require encouragement, sympathy, and grace.

Encouragement: there are times in everyone's life, certainly mine, where you need to hear that you are doing OK and that someone cares. I don't require this on a daily basis or even on a regular basis but occasionally when the world has booted me down, a kind word or gesture is all that is required to get me back up and going again. (Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthen me.)

Sympathy: there are also times in life that we all either have given or received sympathy. This one is a bit tricky, as I have learned, and I have to put boundaries around my action so that my sympathy doesn't cross the line into the "fix" people category. I have crossed over on many occasions and ended up taking on the codependent role of the situation and that is never good because it is in essence saying that I think I am superior and can fix someone when my time should be spent in dealing with my own stuff and not deflecting to the issues of others. Slowly but surely I am learning to sympathize without crossing into the "savior" lane. (Romas 12:5 - rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.)

Grace: this one is also a bit tough at times but I have to remember that God will never ask me to extend more grace than I have received, and I have received a tremendous amount of God's grace. Not to be confused with his forgiveness, they are two totally different things, but both I am very thankful to have received. (Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not of your own doing; it is a gift of God.)

If I can remember to only give these three things to those who are near and dear to me and to extend them out into the world, I can change the atmosphere around me. It is my hope to have nonbelievers feel something different about me even if they don't' know why. Following Jesus's direction in Matthew 5:16 I am attempting to bring salt and light where ever I go and let people know my relationship with the Lord is real and so is His love for them.

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