What happens when you can’t make people choose the right thing? You can put multiple good options in front of them, right underneath their nose even, and they still might choose the wrong path. In most cases they loose sight of what is beneficial for them and begin to chase after what they desire.
We’ve experienced this time and time again. Our hearts ache because we so desire for people to make good, wise decisions but we are not ultimately the ones making decisions for them. Our job then becomes to love people through these poor decisions and to teach them what it looks like to turn their mistakes made into lessons learned.
“To love someone is to show to them their beauty, their worth, their importance.” Jean Vanier
Most people we see on Sunday’s have a very low opinion of themselves. Whether that’s from a lifetime of drug use, living on the streets, or being looked down upon by the world, these thoughts and feelings begin to develop over time and never really leave a person. By coming down on a Sunday we’re attempting to put more hope back into their lives by showing them that they are loved and are worthy of having a conversation with.
Who can you show their worth to today?
We are always working with people who are trying to get back to “normal”. The normalcy of having a job, or speaking with their parents, or getting to spend time with their kids, or living with a roof over your head, or always knowing you will be able to eat when your hungry. All of these things fall in the category of what most of us would consider a normal life.
But what about the people that don’t have a normal to go back to? Those that have never had a relationship with their parents or do not know what it looks like to hold a steady job. When we ask them to change their way of life, we’re basically asking them to start from scratch. Many times their background did not include a good example of what a functioning adult should look like.
Ultimately, they need a new normal.
One thing we always try to stress to the men and women we work with is that we are all broken. We are all sinners that are in a constant fight against sin and we are ALL in need of a Savior. The truth of the matter is that some peoples’ sin is more outwardly self-destructive than others. For example, someone who has been caught in a heroine addiction will very quickly loose (in most cases) their family and friends, job, living situation, and ultimately their life. While for the rest of us, we have the ability to hide our sins such as pride and gossip. These things can and will take a toll on our life and our relationship with the Lord and others, but typically we will not loose our physical lives due to either of these sins.
We want people that the world labels without hesitation as “broken and needy” to really be able to see that this title belongs to all of us. Not one of us more deserving of it than the other. Once people begin to realize that we are all battling something, they tend to not feel so alone anymore. This is the beautiful thing about being in a community of believers! None of our sins look the same, but we can not neglect meeting together and encourage one another all the more as we see the day approaching. [Hebrews 10:25]
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. George Washington
Usually when we hear the word liberty, we think of the Lady that stands tall on the shore of New York City. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve been able to see a different kind of liberty. The kind not defined by the government or a statue, but the kind of liberty that frees us from control, interference and oppression from our thoughts, our emotions, and our feelings.
When there is something buried deep inside of us that we will not allow to come out, we begin to become a prisoner to that thought or emotion. As a prisoner to something, you will never beat it nor will you overcome it. When we attempt to fight it alone, it will just continue to isolate us and beat us down. The only way to overcome something we are struggling with is to open up to others about that exact thing that we are ultimately ashamed of.
We have seen over and over again the shame and regret piled up in our friends lives and the last thing they want to do is to open up about it. Please pray for these people with broken lives, that their hearts will be open to us. May they finally be able to feel the liberty that a new life with Christ brings!
On Friday, we were able to sit down with a man who has known of and supported Urban Purpose in many different ways throughout the years. But recently, the Lord has laid it on his heart to partner with us in more ways than he ever has in the past. This man manages a company and is willing to hire on someone we work with from time to time and give them a chance in the work force. This is a BIG DEAL.
For any business owner to knowingly hire someone who has past drug addiction and felonies, this would typically be considered “shooting yourself in the foot”. But thankfully- this particular business man knows Jesus. And we all know that if Jesus didn’t give us a second chance when we least deserved it, then none of us would be standing where we are today. It is only by His grace that we have accomplished anything worthwhile.
That is exactly what we want for the many, many people who have made (and still make) some pretty rough mistakes throughout their life. We desire for them to be given second and third chance when they definitely do not deserve them. We are constantly blown away by how God provides these open doors for our folks to walk through, baggage and all.