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Do Not Break the Bruised Reed Are we mending the wounds of our brethren who are bruised or we are

helping to b reak them. Have you by your words, gestures, attitude and nature broken a bruis ed reed, which could have healed had you gently nursed the wound and applied a h ealing balm? The Lord has taught that there are many walking this life, who are but a push aw ay from self destruction. Such, we must reach out to in love and offer words of comfort, hope, assurance and offer a helping hand. The Christian life can be tasking and for many trying to get to heaven by their own works or erringly trying to please God by the works, they soon get discourag ed and disappointed in the realisation that they are not good enough. Such are constantly battling with a weakness and are constantly smarting under t he burden of guilt. Such, we are not to break with our harsh words or dispositio n of judgement. There are many of us whose words and attitude have driven many f rom the love of God. I have learnt that we have no right to criticise those we have never paused to p ray for, that, they may overcome the weaknesses in their lives- the sins that ea sily befall them. They are many who are quick to point out the fault of others y et have never paused to commit such to the care of God, what grave error we comm it. Why expect that fellow sinners be saints when you have never offered to pray that the heavenly Father make them the saints we want them to be. There are countless number of times we have hit hard at a pastor, elder, a fellow Christian, because he or she has gone wrong. How story would have been if instead of the idle gossips, we had gone nd called on the Father to offer such divine strength to overcome es. church leader, different the on our knees a their weakness

I have come to know that even the strongest of Christians, by human estimation, also have their great burdens to bear, guilt to overcome and the battle of the f lesh to win. I have learnt that we are all struggling with issues of acceptance, the fear of rejection, loneliness, hopelessness, despair, fear, uncertainty about the future , loss of eternal life, and doubt. That, many Christians are overwhelmed with th e great trials that the Lord brings their way to purify and make them more stron ger, the temptations the enemy throws at them to make them fall. They are breaki ng under the demand that they must appear strong for others and look good all th e time, never complaining or murmuring. There are many at the point of a breakdo wn and just a step from going overboard. Many have also become listless as a result of their dependence on religious rite s and doctrines they pursue to attain salvation. Such go through the motions of Christianity - pay their tithe, go to church, give to charity, preach and teach just the letter of the word, and yet never really experiencing the love of God t hrough Jesus Christ. Such have become tired in spirit and their will power to maintain even that supe rficial religiosity is almost gone. Such, the Lord expects us to constantly pray for. We can only realise this burden of the human race, if we are true and sinc ere to our own selves; accept your humanness, your frailty, your sinfulness and propensity to fall, your nothingness without the Lord and the knowledge that but for grace you could be worse than those you condemn. It is only when we come to this stage - first realising our own helplessness, an

d our dependence on the heavenly source of help for strength to carry on, can we can empathise with others and commit them as well to the care of the father, to help them stand in all ways. Please do not break the reed that is bruised, repair the bruise, apply some heal ing balm, offer words of comfort, and be a true friend to those who are going th rough trying times. There are times we have neglected to reach out to the fellow member caught forni cating, or in adultery, stealing, a backsliding member, and have watched unconce rned as they fell off the road, sometimes never to come to the Lord. We have a great responsibility to be there for each other, to reach out and touc h others in love, to encourage, speak words of comfort and to offer a listening ear without betraying trust. Reach out to the widow or widower in church, take an interest in how that jobles s young man or woman is keeping body and soul, think of the invalid and the phys ically challenged, how are they going through the struggles of daily life and th e psychological hurt their situation has brought on them, talk to the single mum and find out how she is coping with raising children single handily, offer help to those who are genuinely in need, encourage the frustrated young person who h as persistently failed his exams and can’t get admission into a school. Encourage the childless and singles in the church. Hold a hand, smile at someone in church, talk to those outside your circle of friends, and offer a helping ha nd. These are costless yet precious things we can offer. Let them know that you are praying for them and that you care about what they are going through. That i s the calling we have been called to. Unfortunately we are constantly engrossed in our own worries; we tend to loose s ight of those whose plight is worse than ours. We are carried away by our succes s and we flaunt it with little regard for those who are struggling with their fa ilures. How many times haven’t married people seen a single person and callously blurted “so when are you going to hurry and marry too, what are you waiting for ” or to an almost apostatising soul “ leave the church if you will, or let him g o, after all what” “Oh that brother or sister is Satan himself”, “that brother is sister is beyond salvage”, “that brother or sister has gone fornicating again”, “oh have you hear d”. The words we say the actions we show, the looks we exchange, the laughter of ridicule, the outright rejections we exhibit towards those who need help, are b ut some of the ways we have contributed to breaking the feeble bruised reeds in our midst. May the Lord have mercy on us. How are to reach out, the Lord says in love, even to the erring soul we must spe ak our truth in love, gently showing by our deeds what the Lord will have the er ring one know. We err greatly if in the rebuke of sins we make human beings feel worthless and of no value. If we make a sinner think he/she is beyond the reach of the saviour ’s redeeming love and mercy, then we defeat the very purpose for which Christ ca me. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” and He loves all His childre n same; regardless of whether one is a Christian or not. He yearns that all may come to the saving knowledge of his love. We are His work ers and must bring lost souls to Him. We must work with all diligence and wisdom ensuring that we do not drive away any fellow man from the presence of the Lord into the hands of the enemy, whose only plan for such is to steal, destroy and to kill. Let us beware that we do not become workmen for the devil in the house of the Lo