“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants, the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are God’s co-workers.” (1 Cor, 3:6-9 TNIV)
As the eldest sister in our family, I grew up with my parents leaving me in charge whenever they were away. I’ve gotten so
used to being officially bossy that I actually became really bossy and started telling, not just my siblings, but also my friends and people to behave, be good, do what is right, do what you’re told. I would take it personally whenever they would get in trouble after warning them about it. It became such a burden for me, that I would often cry to God, “Why won’t they listen to me?!”
Yep. That was me. I apologize for the me from ten years ago, and for whenever bossy me pops out.
These days God and I have been working on the living with the tension between truth and love, to embrace the messiness of lives that are still in progress. This world we live in is broken and messy and it is God’s job to transform lives and for growth, not ours. As His co-workers (naks! Isn’t that awesome?!), our jobs are to plant the seeds and create the right soil for growth.
Are we creating a good environment for people to grow closer to and stronger in the Lord? Growth, as you know, is a messy process, filled with joys, spills and scrapes, triumphs and mistakes. Outward appearances and actions often hide what is going on beneath a person’s defenses. Are we quick to judge, to point out others’ mistakes and slow to forgive and accept people as they come? Or are we creating a place of absolute safety for the people among us and for the ones who are seeking Jesus?
My prayer is that we continue to learn how to love, just as Jesus loved, with arms open wide for people who are the least like Him, the sinners– like you and me.