Proper Eyes

Published on Apr 20th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Proper Eyes

I am not too mechanically inclined. I am the guy who when asking someone a question about something mechanical they first ask me if it is plugged in or if it has gas. Mechanical issues stress me out. I will open the hood of my car to see if there is something on fire or obviously broken but beyond that I just stare at the engine and tell my wife she should have married someone else. I recently went to a big burly Harley mechanic to ask if he would change the front seals on my motorcycle. Of course, when I got there I could not remember that technical term, “seal”, so I was stuck trying to describe that round thing on the front forks of your bike. After that total humiliation I went home to find comfort in my wife who only laughed at my utter lack of manhood in this area. The other day my riding lawn mower began leaking all of it’s oil out. I got on the ground, looked at the engine, saw that it was not on fire or obviously broken, stood up and told my wife that we needed a new lawn mower. I then spoke to a few people about my problem. One man told me that new engines were cheaper than buying a new lawn mower and not that hard to put in. I shook my head in agreement with him as if that was a viable solution. Sure, I will just pop in a new motor. Another friend said he would come over and look at the mower for me. After asking me if I ever took care of the mower (sure I do, I lifted the hood and it was not on fire or obviously broken) he informed me that the oil filter had shaken loose and that he believed that was the cause of the oil spill. No need for a new motor or a new lawn mower. Just a simple twist of the oil filter and all was well. What my mower needed was someone with mechanical expertise who was willing to take the time to look at my specific mower to determine the problem and the solution.

The other day I asked a friend how they were doing. They told me, very briefly, about a life situation they were facing. They were not sure what they should do. I thought of my lawn mower. How easy it is to spew general advice towards our friends when we really have not taken the time to really get to know the situation or problem. What they said sounds like something that we may have faced in our lives and so we go ahead and speak what we believe is wisdom to that situation. We feel better about ourselves but what if we just told them to replace an engine when all they needed to do was twist an oil filter? Where does this willingness to give quick advice come from? We want to believe that it comes from a heart that desires to help. Maybe so. But if we really wanted to help our friend wouldn’t we take the time to truly understand the issue and the problem? Wouldn’t we give of ourselves first and then give advice only when we better understand the issue?

My friend who helped with my mower understood something. An oil leak could be caused by any number of issues. Because of that, he needed to come and look at my specific mower in order to give advice about how to proceed in fixing the problem. I have realized, in my own life and in helping people, that life is messy. There are any number of reasons why we leak oil in life. What I have also realized is how very little I really know about how to deal with life. But we have been given a gift. The Word of God is written by the creator of life and is full of answers to why we leak oil and what we need to do to fix the leak. I know that the next time someone speaks to me about their mower leaking oil I am going to ask them if their oil filter is tight enough. That is ok as long as I do not speak with the authority that believes that a loose oil filter is the only reason for an oil leak. It is good to be able to share our life experiences with people. But if I really want to help my friend then I need to study engines and learn about all the other reasons an engine might leak oil. We need to believe II Timothy 3:16,17 where Paul tell us that the Word of God has everything we need to live godly lives. We need to study it and allow the Spirit of God to teach us what God says about our heart and lives. Then when our friends share about their lives we should take our time, listen, and seek to give godly advice from the manual God gave us about life.

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