by: Staci Stallings
One of the things I like to do is take a Bible verse and read different translations of it.
Confession: Sometimes reading the long version sheds very little light on what the author is trying to say for me. I prefer the easier to read versions. Not that I stick to those exclusively, but if I want to read the Bible, I’d much rather read The Message Bible than most other translations.
There is a verse in TMB that has become one of my personal guide verses. It is 2 Corinthians 13:10, and it goes like this:
The authority the Master has given me
is for putting people together,
not taking them apart.
What I’m learning is the breach in the Garden, which we call Original Sin, disconnected us from God. We got unplugged. It’s as if Adam and Eve took hold of the cord and yanked it from the wall socket.
Now this is very easy to see. What happens to your lamp if you disconnect the plug from the socket?
It won’t work, right?
I mean, you can stand there and click that little button or pull that little string or change the light bulb as many times as you want. That light is not coming on!
Cursing it out won’t help, and getting a new one if you don’t plug it in won’t do any good either.
Maybe that seems like a dumb example, but is it?
How many of us are limping along on our own power, in our own wisdom, with our own strength? How many of our fellow planet-dwellers are doing that?
See, I think God’s whole plan right now is to reconnect us to Him. He’s going around, pursuing us, trying to convince us to reconnect.
The problem is we’re still standing there trying to “fix” our lamp. Oh, we try lots of things… adding to our bank account, going to the right parties, creating the right image, getting the right clothes, and shoes, and car, and house. We try to find the right spouse, go to the gym to lose those extra pounds… Only to find our lamp is still not on.
The issue here is that we must re-plug in FIRST. Then all the other stuff will follow.
I believe THAT is the ministry of believers. And by believers, I don’t mean people who show up a couple times a month to church and check God off the to-do list.
I mean people who are ACTIVELY WORKING on strengthening their connection to the Master–God.
Once you are connected, you begin to see that the problems people are facing would be much easier handled, if not solved, by reconnecting.
But here’s the thing. I can’t just tell you to go to church and think that will reconnect you. Most of the time, it won’t.
To help people learn to reconnect, we have to be willing to share the journey, to share our journey with others. We have to be willing to get real about the struggles in our own life. Although it sounds great to just reach down and lift someone up, the truth is, even God didn’t do that.
He sent Jesus to be here, with us, walking with us, living with us, eating with us, being with us. When you take on the God mission of helping others reconnect, you don’t do it standing on the rock, holding up your staff so the waters part. You don’t get to stand there in perfect safety telling those who “follow” that it’s okay, you’re pretty sure they won’t drown.
No. You LEAD by example. You practice YOUR faith and let them walk closely enough to see it.
Nowhere is this more important than with your children. Your children will imitate what they see. If they see a parent yelling and freaking out, if they see a parent who hates going to church and makes excuses not to go, if they see a parent disengaged and self-centered… just what do you think they will turn out like.
BE the person you want others in your life to be. LEAD by example.
And become a person who believes in reconnecting people with God. That is the best way I know to change the world.