Imagine you are in your car and stopped at a light. The car in front of you is your teen driver. You start hearing a loud sound and wonder if it is the engine rattling. You veer off to the side of the road and call a tow truck. You wait for hours for them to show up and then invest another several hours at the auto repair shop waiting for your turn. They say nothing is wrong with the car, but you have to pay for the towing, mechanic’s labor, and diagnostic testing. What a waste of time, energy, and finances.
So what was the sound?
It was coming from the car in front of you.
They did not veer off and stop to get it looked at. Failure to fix what was wrong and continuing to drive on it caused even greater damage extending to other parts of the engine that were dependent upon the engine to work properly. The domino effect of not addressing the issue causes greater expense of time, energy, and finances.
Friends, this is a word picture for what happens in the Body.
Did you hear the noise coming from a vehicle? Yes!
Did you discern something was wrong? Yes!
Did you do what it took to take care of your own vehicle/heart? Yes!
But you failed to ask Jesus to show you if it was their issue or yours.
We waste our time and get worn out when we assume an issue is ours. We must ask Jesus to show us when we feel, discern, and experience things if this is coming from us or others. I can’t tell you how many parent coaching sessions I do with people who have been in the mechanic shop waiting and waiting to figure out what is wrong with them, only to have Jesus show us it was something going on in the other person.
Here’s where we miss it.
If it was the car in front of you, they need your help! Focusing on yourself and trying all sorts of self-diagnostic testing gets your eyes off of the assignment in front of you and puts it back on you.
If what you are discerning, feeling, and experiencing is coming from the person in front of you, they need:
- Your love, kindness, and grace
- Your authority over the issue declaring it defeated and resolved
- To be reminded of who they are (they aren’t a broken part but called to be fully functional)
- Prayers for the root of the ‘rattle’ in their lives to be revealed and dealt with
- When appropriate, a conversation to help them to hear it. Not everyone can hear their own ‘rattle.
- Your wisdom and guidance on how best to solve the issue.
- To know they aren’t driving alone but have someone following them (or in the passenger seat) to help them on their journey
- They don’t need your judgment, accusation, and condemnation
Stop doubting yourself. You are hearing, seeing, experiencing, sensing, and discerning something because something is there. While we always want to be humble and let God examine our own hearts, sometimes you are on assignment to help the person in front of you. How you choose to respond significantly impacts how much damage that person’s ‘rattle’ will cost them and affect others.