by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.
“Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death.” James 5:20
Is your life impacting this world for Jesus Christ? Are you making a difference in the lives of your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors? Maybe you are wondering how God could ever use “someone like me” to make a difference. Well, the key to being used by God is not merely based on your ability but your availability.
A friend of mine was approached one day about reaching out to someone who was going through a difficult time – facing financial problems and caught in an abusive relationship. Her first question was, “Who am I to help this man?” Yet, despite her hesitation she helped him find an apartment and furniture, and she was able to help him out of the abusive relationship. This enabled her, with her family, to begin building a relationship with him.
As the friendship grew he began to attend church. He committed his life to Jesus Christ and was baptized. On the day of his baptism he sent her a letter to thank her for all she had done to help him. My friend, who is a full-time mom, and part-time physical therapist, chose to be salt and light to this person. She never knew, until she read the letter, that on the very day she called him, he had been making final arrangements to take his life:
The day you called, I just finished writing some letters, had a long talk with my cat and was opening the bullets to make sure they were the right ones…. Fast forward to today and I will tell you that the thought of suicide never again has crossed my mind. I still question my ability and fret over things, but I am learning to let go and not waste time worrying. It is what it is, and I can stay financially low, but I am rich with people like you in my life and have now been given the gift of baptism. For me, this is the official beginning of a new life…. Please don’t take this as my everlasting pledge to you. It is a clearing of my conscience and an eternal thank you for, well…saving my life, and showing me I will have a good, new life.
My friend was willing to step outside her comfort zone to help someone in need and God used her willingness to make an eternal difference in that man’s life.
Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins (James 5:20).
Just as my friend’s choice made an eternal difference in someone’s life, remember that you, too, can make a difference. Let us all go out and be salt and light and impact our world for Jesus Christ!