Why this scripture encourages me…
This may seem like an unusual passage to be encouraged by yet it has become a foundational scripture for me. When my pastor preached a sermon on it, God shined a light straight to my soul about something that had been troubling me for a long time. His sermon helped me realize that I had been doing the very thing God warns so strongly against doing—causing one of His precious ones to sin. He makes it clear this is a very serious matter to Him. I had wrapped it in the guise of “rescuing.”
The reason is rooted in my family’s struggle with alcoholism. My mom’s drinking endured throughout our childhoods, until the year I graduated from high school and she joined AA. It determined how we all related to each other. We didn’t know we were being impacted, we were just trying to grow up in an unstable family situation. We were confined by roles which were very rigid, like the chrysalis state of the butterfly.
In this scripture, God showed me that by rushing to the rescue, I was absorbing some of the consequences that were meant for the other person. I was interfering with His teaching process and it was NOT a role that God would give me! He would not want me to make sinning easier, which is what I was doing. I was also interfering with God’s blessing meant for them. God disciplines us because He loves us, in the same way that our parents discipline us as in our childhoods. That day I asked the Lord, “What purpose did You create me for? I know it is not this one.” I have been humbled and grateful for how He has responded ever since!
[Note: In my 20-year journey, God has given me deeper insight as to what He was doing here and I will share more about what He has revealed in later posts. But for now, I want to be true to what I understood at the time: the role my family had for me was not the same as His purpose for me.]