I’m a fixer. The kind of gal who loves to problem solve and smooth out all the rough edges—particularly for the people I love.
In and of itself, “fixing” can seem harmless. A lot of us value those folks who consistently offer a sound word of advice and a handy solution. They may be our go-to when we need a kind word, or the shoulder we cry on in a moment of crisis. As believers, building that type of spiritual community, that “grace place” is vital and necessary.
But what about the person who doesn’t need to be “fixed?” The one who wants someone to listen rather than speak. The one who needs a nudge in the right direction rather than an A-Z plan. The one who is wrestling toward finding truth, whom God is leading toward deeper dependence on Him.
“We are not the first responder.”
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar at church about coming alongside a soul in need with the primary goal of leading them toward God rather than offering them a solution. The pastor exhorted us that, “we are not the first responder.”
Honestly, my flesh balked a bit.
I love giving wise council to a friend in need.
It’s my job to offer my son solutions to his problems.
There’s something gratifying about being the go-to Christian.
But we are not God. And let’s face it, we forget that from time to time, don’t we?
The pastor’s words brought me face to face with my limitations as a “fixer.” It opened my eyes to how quickly I can assert my perception, share my opinion, or offer my life experience as the fix, when really, God is the only answer.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NLT
I believe in the power of our stories, but I believe in God more.
It’s a unique privilege to be able to come alongside another and relate every bit of good news—and there is a time and place for that. But, how much more will that good news multiply when I’ve steered a person to lean into Christ, rather than depend on me.
We are not God. And we’d do well to remember it.
God is the first responder. He goes before. He comes behind. He is moving and working in ways that we can’t begin to imagine—particularly in the lives of others. If we aren’t careful to seek God first, to be sure that the Holy Spirit is guiding our words and actions, we could potentially misdirect a sweet soul in a direction quite opposite from what God has planned for them.
While our intentions—advice, council, solutions—are good,
God’s plan is always better.
I can’t think of a time when I needed this perspective shift more. God’s word is being molded to suit the ideal of man. Those with platform and position are offering a doctrine that while doused in good intentions and sugar-coated with love, is laced with opinion, not truth.
It’s scary. It’s dangerous. And, I don’t want to fall prey.
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Matthew 16:23 NLT
As a Christian woman—mom, wife, friend, citizen—I not only want to live God’s word, but I want to defer to it as the ONLY way, the ONLY truth, and the ABSOLUTE source of abundant life. I can’t fix anyone, but God certainly can. ♥
By His endless grace,
Join the conversation…
Have you been tempted to offer your opinion before you sought God’s? How do you find the balance between sharing your experience and encouraging someone to seek God’s wisdom?
You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots: Purposeful Faith (#RaRaLinkup), Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday) and 3dlessons4life.