“When I was first beginning my faith walk,” Stan began, “ I met once a week with my mentor, just about the way you and I get together. One day he said something to me that really set me off.”
“What was that all about, if you don’t mind my asking,” I replied.
“He said something to me, something he had observed about an attitude, that struck a nerve and caused me to accuse him of being judgmental. In essence, I told him to mind his own business.”
“How did that go over?” I asked.
“I was real upset,” Stan replied. “He was not. He just very gently asked me to think about what he had said. He suggested that I spend time with God praying about the specific thing and to be open to what I might hear from God.”
Continuing, he added, “And the thing that really made a difference was that the whole conversation took just a couple of minutes and was not confrontational. My mentor just had a gentle suggestion.”
“Did you follow that suggestion?” I asked.
“I did,” Stan replied. “I was reluctant at first because I was feeling so defensive about what he had said. But I spent time each day during the week before we got together again. I prayed and asked God to open me to see the matter, not from my perspective, but from God’s.”
“Did anything come of it?” I asked.
“Big time!” Stan replied. “The first day I was still feeling that my mentor was just being judgmental, but each day, as I got deeper into giving it all to God and being open to what He was saying, it became clearer and clearer that what my mentor said was correct.”
Continuing, he added, “I did have a rotten attitude that needed to be changed. By the next week when I got together again with my mentor, I could hardly wait to thank him for what he had observed and that he had the courage to tell me.”
“So,” I said, “it was kind of transformational for you.”
“Not only kind of,” Stan said with a smile, “it totally changed that particular attitude. As well, it took me into a deeper prayer life with God, asking Him to show me anything and everything about my life that He wanted to change into the likeness of His Son.”
“Did God do that?” I asked.
“He did and He does,” Stan replied. “And it all started because one person was willing to tell another something he saw as blocking the way on the path from conversion to transformation.”
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19, 20.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of those who are willing to step forward and help others on their walk from conversion to transformation. I confess that too often I am reluctant to say anything to another for fear of being thought and called judgmental. Please forgive me for hiding behind that and for listening to the voice of Satan who wants to convince me not to be concerned about the spiritual health of another person. Please help me in following every step of your lead in knowing when and how to encourage others to turn everything in their lives to you for your input. Please help them to be open to what you have to say. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: The line between being judgmental and being discerning can be confusing. God wants to use discernment for His purposes. Satan wants to use your fear of being called judgmental for his purposes. Do you care enough about what God thinks to want to help another turn from going in the wrong direction? Prayer is the key.
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to S. Tory Teller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.