Galatians 6:6 (NKJV) Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
Throughout my walk as a Christian, I have been blessed by being fed into by a number of sources. These sources include, but are not limited to pastors, friends, family, study partners, fellow church members, radio, books, television and internet. I draw strength from these interactions that God uses to feed my soul and draw me closer to Him and other believers.
This past week, prompted by Ron’s comment about last week’s post and subsequent conversations, Galatians 6:6 came to my attention. I believe the primary intent of this verse is to bring believers to the understanding that our pastors and missionaries, those who teach us, feed us spiritually, need to be physically and financially supported by us and the blessings we receive through God’s good graces. “Share in all good things”, so I am glad to do my part, so that they can continue in theirs.
After further meditation and deliberation on this verse, I’ve come to an additional expectation. I believe that God is telling us that we should also share the spiritual fruits with those who teach and influence us. I believe, all too often, we take the contributions others make in our spiritual development for granted. Take, for example, your pastor, bible study or men’s group leader, your christian counsels, your friends. I guarantee we each have people whom we lean on, have pour into us, selflessly giving of themselves, their time and energy to guide, nurture and develop us. They do so out of love for us and love and obedience for the Lord. Their reward for this service knows no bounds, but does often times come at a personal price to them.
Far too often, those performing such service don’t get to see God’s work through them come to fruition. Now in most instances, we can allow faith to intercede and be encouraged that since we are being obedient, serving others as God would have, “… that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. However, we are human beings, fallible and imperfect. It is possible and perhaps even likely, those who pour so much into others could slide into complacency, depression, callousness and even cynicism when they aren’t receiving confirmation and affirmation that their efforts are bearing fruit. We assume that they know, but we need to assume that they don’t.
They are feeding us, isn’t only right that we feed them back?! The people who pour into you, guide you, care for you, need to know that the service they do for you, the work they do for God is achieving a purpose. FEED THEM BACK!
I want to encourage everyone reading this to think about people who have and are feeding into you. You need to call them, stop by, text them, make them a card, track them down if you’ve lost touch and tell them how much their energy, friendship, advice, teaching, admonition or guidance has meant to you. Share with them the specifics, the victories, how your life has changed, you’ve changed other lives because of the work they did with you. This will be your gift, your feeding back into them.
Sixteen years ago, I met a pastor on the campus of ISU. His name is Russ Denstorff. He was my Paul. He poured into me like no one before. He studied scripture with me. To this day, I try to study like he taught. He took me to church, guided me, played baseball with me, admonished me, got me looking toward God for the first true time in my life. I was a punk, a disappointment, a terrible let down. I left ISU the following spring. I lost track of Russ and God. I returned to God in 2010. Had it not been for the seed Russ planted in 1999, I’m not sure I would have. Last summer, God placed a burden on my heart. Find Russ He said. After a few hours of research, I did. I called him. It took a moment, but he began to remember. I apologized for all the stress I caused him, but wanted to share with him the fruition of all the work he poured into me. He was my Paul. Russ had been struggling through an number of those years. He needed to know what God did for me through him. His work was bearing fruit.
Don’t let the Pauls in your life have to go 16 years without knowing what they mean to you. Call them, meet with them, share with them and in doing so, you can start feeding them back! God Bless you all and your Pauls!
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,