What I Learned From A Baby
I told you a few weeks ago about the event we had where two young ladies accepted Christ as their Savior. Within the two or three weeks that followed two more young ladies also got saved! Needless to say, ministry at Lewisburg Alliance Church has been very exciting this past month and a half. I expected to be able to disciple these young ladies and pour into their lives. What I didn’t expect is that these baby Christians would teach me something.
Unfortunately, we only have the opportunity to disciple two of these four girls. One of the girls we have lost contact with because she is now living with her dad in a neighboring town and we have no way to contact her. Another one of the girls had to relocate with her family this past weekend. And nobody saw it coming. We found out during youth group when the remaining two let us know. They were extremely close friends. I knew they were taking it hard. The youngest of the two (they’re sisters) taught me some very important lessons this week and I want to share those with you today.
You see, the thing is, babies act on instinct. I believe baby Christians do as well. They’re definitely not independent yet. They have to rely on God and others in their lives more than those of us who have devoted our lives to Christ a long time ago. But just like a baby will cry for milk because it needs it, so baby Christians, from my experience, will act on their natural spiritual responses. This is what’s different between a religion and a relationship with Christ. There is no instinct with religion – it’s all ritual. So with no further ado, here are the 5 lessons I was reminded of this week:
1. Be a passionate friend. The younger sister I told you about was completely broken over their friend relocating. She texted me after youth group simply to say she missed her friend. She went on to tell me she was worried that her friend might be hurt (unfortunately we sometimes assume the worst). I reassured her that she was ok, but her family had to move. But I could tell she was hurting. They were best friends. And now she felt somewhat alone in the world. God made us for community, and we shouldn’t take the relationships in our lives for granted. We should be giving all we have to invest in those we love. God loves big, so why not us? Be passionate!
2. Always put Scripture first. While this young girl texted me through her pain I tried to direct her focus to God and remind her that God will never leave us and loves us deeply. That God is there for her. Her response made me want to cry from joy and pride. She said, “I know, my Bible tells me so.” Wow! Only a few weeks old and she already is familiar enough with Scripture to know God’s character. We need to be that familiar with Scripture, and more so. Be able to go to Scripture first and foremost. A lot of time our natural tendency is to go to our friends or mentors for advise, but God and His Word should be our first response.
3. Which brings me to my third point: have a confidant. BUT… don’t gossip. Talking can be dangerous (check out Jason post called Confessions of a Talker). You have to be very cautious with this one, because you also face the danger of putting a confidant or mentor relationship before God. God must always be first, but it’s important to have wise people in your life that you can turn to when life is painful. We all need a shoulder to cry on. I can look back at the painful times in my life and tell you who was there for me (the list is too long for shout-outs), and having them in my life is irreplaceable! On the flip side, be the kind of person you would want in a confidant. Especially if you’re a parent or youth leader, because students will undoubtedly be coming to you for something.
4. Don’t be afraid to cry. Men, this might be a hard one for you because it doesn’t seem manly, or maybe you’re just not that emotional. But in my opinion, it is the mark or a true man if you can own up to the emotions you do have. Look at David and how open he was with his emotions, and he was a true man’s man! It might be odd to hear this coming from a woman who wears her emotions on her sleeves. But to be frank, culture doesn’t want us to show our emotions and it’s easy to sink into the mindset of keeping your emotions to yourself. But everyone needs a good cry every now and again. Even Jesus wept (John 11:35). Babies cry when they need something. Everyone has some kind of cry for help. But don’t be afraid to mourn in the painful times of your life. Don’t bottle it up or pretend not to be hurt. And of course, cry for God.
5. Listen to solid Christian music. I don’t mean solid as in hard rock music. I mean solid, theologically accurate music. There are a lot of popular artists out there with catchy tunes that are packed full of Biblical truth. Music is very powerful, both good and bad. We need to be careful about the messages we fill our minds with, no matter how mature we are. The young girl that has been texting me sent me one last night quoting the song, “Bring The Rain.” Again, I welled up with pride in how much she’s already growing. It’s hard to ask Jesus to bring the rain so that we can praise Him more. Life is painful, but we must praise God even more in those times. I can personally attest to how powerful Christian music can be in tough times! It is an encouraging reminder to praise God and return to Scripture.
Sometimes we need to go back to our elemental days to remember how life should be. It should be instinctive to be a passionate friend who turns first to Scripture, can rely on their confidants, and is true to their emotions. And filling our hearts and minds with the right music can also be very powerful in our walk with God. It’s amazing what you can learn from those you’re trying to teach if you just listen.
Posted on November 16, 2011, in Christian Living and tagged Babies, Baby, Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Family Ministry, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.