I woke up this morning to a text from a young person struggling with failure. Within a short period I was dealing with another young person who was clearly in a compromised place.
This isn’t uncommon in the area we are in, but their communication with me was troubling. It was not troubling that they were struggling with sin (although this is difficult). It was troubling because they were wondering if I would be willing to meet with them every once in a while to help them through this.
If I would be willing?
Yesterday’s reading was from Luke chapter 5, and that is where Jesus met with Levi (who is a tax collector) and then goes to a banquet at his house. The Pharisees and teachers of the law complained because Jesus was sitting down “with tax collectors and sinners – Luke 5:30.” Jesus’ response is perfect.
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”Luke 5:31-32, NIV
Jesus met with those in need… with those who were struggling. He didn’t avoid them, and He certainly didn’t abandon them once they had struggled. All of Jesus’ followers abandoned Him in the garden, yet He came back to them.
As Christians, and members of the church, we need to make sure that people know that we are a place to come when they need to get right with God. We don’t excuse sin, but we understand that it is part of the human condition. We need to understand the need for grace and love, because we need it ourselves (look at the Sermon on the Mount in Matt. 5-7).