It was a beautiful summer day, when all of a sudden little Susie comes running in. “MOM, MOM, come quick! She grabs her mother’s hand and leads her to a tree where she had previously been playing with her cat Snowball. As Mom looks up she sees Snowball on the end of a limb that looks as if it is about to come crashing to the ground bringing poor Snowball along with it.
Susie began to explain, “Mom, I was holding Snowball when a dog came out of nowhere and scared her. She ran up the tree before I knew what had happen. I tried to get her down, but every time I get near her she tries to scratch me! Please help! Doesn’t she know I am just trying to save her?”
This simple story illustrates our relationship with many of our family and friends. There is nothing more painful than seeing a loved one in trouble, but not being able to help them because they do not recognize the trouble they are in. Often we try to help, only to get hurt by them for our efforts.
Just as with the cat and little Susie, this hurt is usually not out of meanness. Often it is just a natural reaction. We are programmed to be on the defensive any time someone tries to “get in our business.” It is a natural reaction that usually comes from having been hurt too many times in the past by those who said they want to “help us.” Does this give us a good reason to turn away from our friend once they hurt us for trying to help? No! Not if we truly love them.
Susie’s mom told her, “Let’s go get some cat food from the kitchen and try to persuade the cat down the tree.” As they went inside Snowball was hanging on for dear life.
Susie and her mom came out and put the food at the base of the tree and after about ten minutes Snowball made her way down the tree to the loving arms of Susie.
This shows a simple Bible principle that Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians.
19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
Like Susie, Paul is motivated by love. It is this love that gives Paul the strength to withstand the burdens and attacks that come along with being a follower of Christ. As believers we must be willing to never give up on those in need, even if they hurt us Instead, we are to use wisdom to find a different way to get the same result, always being motivated by love. This is what Paul meant in Colossians.
4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how you ought to answer every man.
Everybody is different. We need to recognize that difference and be willing to spend the time necessary to find out how to help them. Too many times we get hurt by those we are trying to help and then just turn our backs on them and let them fall.
The question you need to answer is, “In live, are you Susie, or are you the cat?”
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