ďTo the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.Ē1
There once was a carpenter who visited one of two brothers who had recently grown embittered with each other over a misunderstanding over the farm they had managed together for the past 40 years. The carpenter needed work; or so he said, and he asked the one brother if there was anything he might do to help him out.
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. Thatís my neighbor. In fact, itís my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but Iíll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence, an 8-foot fence - so I wonít need to see his place or his face anymore."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and Iíll be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day -- measuring, sawing, and nailing.About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmerís eyes opened wide; his jaw dropped. There wasnít a fence there at all. The carpenter had fashioned a bridge... a bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, hand outstretched, meeting them in the middle, "You are quite a fellow, you know; to build this bridge after all Iíve said and done." Then hoisting his toolbox onto his shoulder, the carpenter departed. "Iíd love to stay, but I have many more bridges to build.Ē2
In everything we do, let our focus be on saving others for Christ. Just like Jesus was the bridge that connected us to God, let us be the bridge that connects others to Jesus. Let us listen to the needs of people and seek to be part of the solution whenever possible, always seeking Godís wisdom and guidance in every situation.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, allow me to be a good listener when it comes to the needs of others. Please help me build bridges that will bring people closer to you, which will in turn bring them closer to each other. Let my words and actions promote unity and glorify you at all times. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesusí name, amen.
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.