I have a little sister. Much to my chagrin, as the big sister I was constantly being told to bring my sister along, watch out for my sister, or make sure she's okay. With 4.5 years between us, I was none-too-thrilled about the tag along who usually stole the attention from my friends. As I began to "grow up," I took a more active stance in playing a mothering role in her life, to which she'd gripe "You're worse than mom!" She's all grown up and a wife and mom now, but she'll always be my little sister.
Today's post may feel like a contradiction to my ode to meddling from two days ago. But after some thought-provoking conversation with a friend that spurred us both on to healing and growth, and then a mess of a morning that resulted in my own frustration being taken out on an innocent loved one, I've got a new perspective to share about the role we play in other people's lives.
Consider the question Oswald asks, "Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible spiritually to God for other people? For instance, if I allow any turning away from God in my private life, everyone around me suffers."
In my own human attempts, I will always miss the mark. I will meddle. I will fail. People will watch me and I may even cause them to stumble. If "Well done" is the ultimate expression I wait to hear from my Savior, the extreme opposite would have to be "you failed." Woe is me! If I draw my sufficiency from the Lord and walk being lead by the Spirit, the outpouring of my life can be a blessing and encouragement to those around me - a testimony of His love and mercy and grace.
But by contrast, I've seen the adverse affects of those who suffer around me when I am struggling to be spirit-filled and spirit-lead. Instead of making disciples with words sweetened by His grace, I can single-handedly be responsible for distancing someone away from God's goodness. It is a fine line to walk, and praise God I don't have to do it alone or in my own strength.
I want my sister to tag along with me, but not because I want to boss her around or meddle in her life or - heaven forbid - lead her astray. See, my parents sent my sister with me because they trusted me. And therefore, my sister trusted me. I've been given that same responsibility with my brothers and sisters in Christ - to see to it that the overflow of my life pours the love of God into the lives of others. With pride I accept the responsibility. With humility I admit my inability. With Jesus I seek to be your sister.