The Focus that Brings Me Success
What’s wrong with Jesus? His disciples finally begin to show consideration for each other and he stops it dead in its tracks.What’s with that? After three years Simon finally began to get the idea that he should be concerned about the other guys. Jesus had told them to love one another so it must be right to be concerned about what would happen to them. He asked the question and got told to butt out of their business! Confusing? Yep!
It was one of the last times he would be together with his disciples and they had enjoyed an unexpected time together. Jesus had some unfinished business with Simon and as they talked, Simon got pretty excited about what was said. Jesus gave him a special instruction to take care of his people. Naturally Simon wanted to try things out at once – just like he always did – give Simon a new idea and watch him go all out with it! This time was no exception. Having told Simon some things about his future, Jesus told him to follow him.
Simon immediately put the picture together: Jesus told him to care for the others and as part of the instruction he had told him a bit about what the future held for Simon. Obviously it is easier to care for another person if you know things like what will happen to them in the future and what Jesus is calling them to do, so he asked Jesus, “What about this guy, John?”
Jesus had a problem with that question and he chewed Simon out!
Seems it was a teachable moment. We love to be able to put people in neat little categories and assign them labels so we know how to treat them. Our labels are seldom right but they do change how we deal with others.
Jesus has a warning for us and a special instruction which can make us the most amazing people you’ll ever find: “Don’t butt into other people’s business, just get on with doing what I told you to do. Their destiny is my concern not yours!”
The secret to powerful relationships and a dynamic church.
Stop fussing over things that are not our concern and make no difference to our ability to fulfill our calling. If we all got on with living our calling without comparing ourselves with each other we would have more energy and focus. “God, I’m always willing to help my fellow disciples but I’m not going to try to control them. I’ll follow you and give them room to do the same.”
John 21: 22 :What about him? Not your business, You must follow me.
Our tendency to fuss over things that don’t concern us and make no difference to fulfilling our calling creates distraction and dissipates energy. It also builds friction and misunderstanding. We major on the minors and neglect the big picture and in the process we fail to fulfill our own calling.
We create a bad advertisement to the community – no one is attracted to a group of people who claim to have great insight and news yet spend their lives trying to police each other, nit pick and criticize – that’s not people of vision!
Most of the problems we see in others don’t matter as much as we make out. If they were that bad, God would contain them – our response to each other is the real problem. Here’s some ideas to try:
Respecting each other – do we see them as special people who have been personally chosen by Jesus?
Remembering our own calling – focus on doing what we are called to do
Releasing others to follow their calling – they don’t answer to us and it’s okay if they do things their own way. They go further with encouragement.
Celebrating the success of others – letting them remember we are with them and on their side – cheer leaders for the team not personal critics
Allowing others to make mistakes without condemnation
The other part of the problem is how we see ourselves – as competitors for scarce resources – only those who are “right” will receive God’s blessing? Really?
Shifting the focus to others and their performance (theology, behavior, . . .) removes us from the “heat” or so we hope. Really? Does it really work that way?
Our score keeping and desire to control those around us reveals we are living on conditional grace – I get what I deserve? Uh-oh! Trying to earn favor with God (and failing) gets us nowhere fast. We soon end up blaming others for our own frustration and lack of progress and feeling that if we could whip them into shape all would be well with us. It doesn’t work and soon creates friction. They are not our competitors nor are they our millstone. God’s grace is not conditional nor is his love.
What’s the solution? Get our focus on what counts – personally following Jesus. Of course we are willing to help others but we stop trying to control them and get on with becoming what Jesus called us to be. That focus will bring me success!
- If You Know He’s Bad Why Choose Him? (citesimon.com)
Posted on January 26, 2012, in Active faith, Self-awareness and tagged Christianity, controlling others, criticism and condemnation, dynamic church, encouragement, grace, interpersonal relationships, John 21, Religion and Spirituality, Simon, teachable moment. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.