Staying on point


hang onI’ve dipped my toes into the insurance world once again. After several years out of the industry I have accepted a position to teach a licensing prep course and it feels good. I love the classroom and watching the lightbulbs turn on as information is absorbed and understanding comes. I had a wonderful career in this industry and there is joy for me in encouraging those making career changes by sharing my experiences.

Yesterday we touched on a topic of the studies that got me sidetracked. Insurance is a product that is regulated by both state and federal entities and as we discussed the programs offered through the government, conversation turned to the abuses that occur in said programs and it spiraled from there. I can be very passionate about what I believe and while I seldom enter into discussions about the government or politics, there are realities that cannot be ignored.

I believe in the intent of the programs we have – to help people in need. The elderly, the poor, those in need of medical care. I simply do not believe that government programs were supposed to be Plan A. As idealistic as it may sound, I believe we were created to help each other, not look to the government to take care of our brothers and sisters on this earth. Yet I am not ignorant of the frailties of the human will or the strength of the love of self. Herein lies the problem.

So my classroom became my pulpit for a few minutes. And while I very passionately expressed my feelings and opinions on these matters, it had absolutely nothing to do with what the students needed to know in order to pass the upcoming exam. I got off point. Thankfully no one seemed too disturbed by my short spiritual lecture and I was able to refocus on the actual facts needing to be addressed and move on.

As is my habit whenever I speak to a group of people, my drive home involves the mental replay of how the event went. Yesterday was no different and I chided myself for allowing my personal opinions and emotions to interrupt the fulfilling of my professional responsibilities. And as I did this mental replay it occurred to me that we so often do this as Christians – get off point.

The things that distract us from the point can be matters that stir our passions at depths we cannot fully express. We see the causes, feel the pains, grieve over the losses, protest the injustices and these actions can become so consuming that we begin to believe they are the point. We get off-task. The needs are real and emotions drive our responses. We are afraid so we lash out. We are angry so we blame. We feel helpless to affect so we give up. And while the causes are all very worthy of our attention, we have gotten off point in how we respond.

What is the mission to which we said we surrendered as Jesus-followers? To love. That is how it will be known that He exists and that we are His. If I speak (or post on social media…) of, or more importantly to, a group of people who I believe are in error in their ways and actions, yet my words show no love for those very same people, I am but a clanging cymbal, accomplishing the very opposite of what I was called to do. I bring harm to the cause of Christ which is Plan A: His will, His way.

The questions we must ask ourselves daily (maybe hourly) are “Am I on point? Whatever I have to do, am I doing it His way, not mine? Am I showing His love in everything I do?” For that is the mission.

I feel like a broken record lately, but I can’t get away from this message. I grieve for the hurting and the injustices in this world, but I grieve also for His body who is so often distracted that we are missing the point. Maybe no one near seems to be too disturbed by our passionate discourses and may even vehemently agree. But I pray we re-focus and stay on point. It is then He can use us to change our world. And that’s the Jesus Plan A.

Staying on point” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com

Image from www.artique.com