1 John 5: 16-17
“If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.”
As I’ve told you before-I’m a doer. I’m a doer and as a result I am by nature a fixer. I hate to see something out of place without trying to give it a shot at fixing it.
Sometimes, however, some things aren’t broken. They just look broken.
And other times, my tinkering only makes things worse. For example, one time my neighbor’s sprinklers weren’t working right. I decided to take it upon myself to “fix” the sprinkler head. A quarter turn with my channel locks should do it. Snap. Water was shooting up straight up into the air. To make matters worse I could not find the sprinkler shut off. I’m not sure how many thousands of gallons were wasted before she came home that afternoon. Needless to say, I felt bad. I should have just left it well alone.
One of the bigger challenges is when we see instead broken things in people and we try to be a fixer- our scripture today reminds us that we actually end up usurping God.
In fact, our scripture reading today instructs us to go to prayer and let God take over.
God is the fixer, not us. That can be a challenge when we believe if only we could tell them one more thing, show them one more thing, teach them one more thing…but the author of 1 John is saying turn it over to God. Turn it over to the God who created the cosmos to create new life in that person. It is then that our prayers have deep and sacred power over whatever sin lives within us.
It reminds me of teaching our youngest when to “tattle” on another child. We tell him that if someone is going to be hurt, you need to tell us. Otherwise, work it out amongst yourself. We don’t need to know if Jonny took a shovel from Billy. We don’t need to know that Billy said he doesn’t like Broccoli. We need to know if someone is going to be injured.
If you are like me wanting to fix things and even in some cases fix people, reread this scripture. Let its words sink deep into your soul.
Pray: Gracious God, move in us a new spirit of prayerfulness when our instinct is to fix others. May we see others through God’s eyes and trust that God is at work in all things.
Read: 1 Peter 1: 3-9
Act: Spend a few moments in prayer each morning or evening this week (or even while you eat at lunch) lifting up those who you know are struggling but deeply need God to work in their life.
Rev. Lou Ward
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