Part four of our journey through 1 Corinthians 13.
‘If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.’
1 Corinthians 13:2
I’d suffered from the same symptoms for years but they had progressed to a point where I could no longer manage the condition alone. I needed help! After a GP referral and a whole lot of googling, I found the perfect specialist to hopefully find out what was going on. Feeling a little fragile, I sat in the waiting room with a folder full of test results and notes from previous doctors. My name was called and I dutifully followed the specialist into their office.
The next thirty minutes were a whirlwind!
The notes for my case had not been sent, so I found myself trying to explain seven years of symptoms in five minutes. The specialist then whizzed through many examinations (you don’t need details), fired questions at me and rattled out a list of the possible causes for my symptoms. They were extremely knowledgeable, had a plan for my treatment and had seen my symptoms many times before. I left with a treatment plan, a prescription and a clear way forward, and yet as I plonked into the driver’s seat of my car the tears started to flow.
The information was just what I needed to hear but the delivery left me feeling overwhelmed.
In my attempts to support Christians friends I have been guilty of a similar bedside manner.
What’s the problem?
Yep, I know about that, here’s what you need to do.
Take this Bible verse twice a day.
Read this book.
I’ll pray for you as I know God has got this situation in hand.
I’ve been through a similar thing and it worked out fine.
Text me in a week and let me know how you’re getting on.
I may not have been this direct, but on reflection, I wasn’t always the most sensitive when responding to the bravery of a shared problem. If I was ever like this with you then I am deeply sorry! Just like the specialist, I genuinely wanted to help, but my approach needed…well… a little bit of love. As I’ve aged, the rough edges are smoother, and my own life experience has extended my capacity to empathise with others. My inner geek needs reining in at times but these days I can hold off from sharing the 'great podcast I listened to just last week' or sending the link for the 'perfect youtube sermon for your situation.' God is increasing my ability to love first and wait for his prompt.
I’ve been pretty honest about how God is shaping me in this area and I’d like you to join me in a bit of soul-searching.
Think about those that you support, a church team that you’re part of or the people you work with daily.
When it comes to sharing your knowledge and expressing your faith with those around you, how is your bedside manner?
'Spread love wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.'