I challenge you to ponder the question – Do lost people really matter to you? We know ALL PEOPLE matter to God, and therefore they should matter to us but do we hide from those that appear adrift?
So many times in life we do what is best for the crowd. We design our ministries around this, and we become consumed with the numbers. How many people are we reaching? Or as writers how many people visited our page, shared our post, or commented?
A standard method used for making decisions is a vote where majority wins. But is this always the right way when dealing with people? Jesus taught us something different. He showed us every single life matters. We must look beyond the crowd to see that one person in need.
We know every life matters to God
One of my favorite stories in the bible is the “Parable of the Lost Sheep.”
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.
Would you search for a sheep or stay with the ninety-nine?
In this passage, Jesus was referring to sinners, but I have no doubt Jesus would want us to apply it to all categories of people that have strayed. Each person has such immense value, and God doesn’t want to give up on a soul. He never stops searching for us.
We have so many people in our world that feel disconnected and do we even notice them?
Definition of lost from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary
: not made use of, won, or claimed a lost opportunity
: no longer possessed a lost reputation
: ruined or destroyed physically or morally
: desperate, a lost soul
: taken away or beyond reach or attainment
: denied regions lost to the faith
: insensible, hardened, lost to shame
: unable to find the way
: no longer visible
: lacking assurance or self-confidence
: rapt, absorbed
: not appreciated or understood
: obscured or overlooked during a process or activity lost in translation
: hopelessly unattainable
Do you know people that fit into this definition? If so, are you pretending you do not see them? Do you pass by them as you go about your life? We are all guilty at times but why?
Ponder with me what keeps us from loving the lost the way God intended and Jesus demonstrated.
- Why does one hide from the lost?
- How do you hide?
- Then ask yourself – Do you want to stop hiding?
(Please share your answers in the comments below)
Of course, the answers will be unique to each of us and worth the pondering. After all, if you were that lost sheep wouldn’t you want someone searching for you?
Why does one hide from the lost?
- Sometimes they are difficult to be around.
- We don’t want the interruption.
- Society says, “Get rid of all the people that cause you pain.”
- We feel ill-equipped to help.
- Fear of: rejection, saying the wrong thing, or making matters worse.
- We are too busy with our everyday life.
How do you hide?
- We pretend we don’t see the people who are hurting.
- Avoidance – how many of you have ducked down a different aisle to dodge someone in need?
- Telling ourselves, it isn’t our responsibility.
- By ignoring them and their situation.
How will you stop hiding from the lost?
- Recognize God wants us to go after the lost sheep.
- Be willing to get involved.
- Start small, do something.
- Be aware of those around us.
- Pray for opportunities.
Yes, searching and spending time with those who are adrift will take time and energy. But remember, Jesus did it for us. We all needed to be found, and he came to earth to save us.
Jesus took the time.
What is so amazing is when we take time to love people the way God intended we are forever changed and immensely blessed. Holidays are especially challenging and lonely for those that feel lost. Won’t you reach out this season and let somebody know they matter to God and you. Each of us can make a difference in other people’s lives – sometimes all it has to be is a smile.
We can love people the way God intended, who you will include this holiday season?