All signs were leading to a heart attack. Every warning symptom could be checked off the list. If this lady didn’t get help quickly, surely she was going to die. Yet she denied there was any issue with her health, let alone a serious one. She refused to go to the hospital or tell the doctor her symptoms. How could she not see that she was in danger? How could she be so blind to such an obvious problem? I was getting aggravated. After all, she was the school bus driver. Every day that she continued in denial, she put those kids in greater danger.
‘This lady should be fired,’ I thought. ‘She cannot put herself above the safety of these kids. It isn’t right.”
So when she grabbed her arm one morning and slumped over in her seat, I wasn’t surprised. This lady was having a heart attack. I was RIGHT! I knew it was coming! I was even prepared for an event like this. I reached in my purse, pulled out my scalpel and cut her chest open. “Now’s my chance to make the changes to her heart that she needs,” I blurted. “She will be so much better off when I’m finished with her”…
None of that actually happened. Yet God convicted my heart of doing exactly this, spiritually speaking.
I am not trained, licensed, qualified, or able to perform open heart surgery (Shocking, isn’t it?). If I did attempt such a thing, I would kill the woman and be charged with murder. I think open heart surgery is best left to surgeons, don’t you?
Someone’s behaviour was simply wrong. It wasn’t an isolated incident. All signs lead to an issue of the heart. But instead of first calling the doctor (a.k.a. Jesus), I ripped out my spiritual scalpel and started carving me a pound of flesh.
In the flurry of my thoughts, a picture of my seven year old son holding a scalpel flashed through my mind. A question was asked inside my heart: Would you hand your son a scalpel to perform heart surgery on your daughter or would you trust the heart surgeon to do what’s best?
The answer is an obvious one: Despite his best intentions, my seven year old would only bring harm, not healing. The scalpel belongs in the surgeon’s hand and not mine.
Blinded by our pride, we feel we are qualified to perform complex heart surgeries on others, without love or consideration. We see dust in someone’s eye and rush to remove it before looking in the mirror to see the plank of pride stuck in our own (Matthew 7:3-4). We promote ourselves to Heart Surgeon or Judge, but these positions are best left to the One qualified (James 4:12 ).
What Should We Do?
What we can often observe in others is the need to talk with the Doctor and follow His prescription. Isn’t that what we should also do? Talk honestly with our Doctor, Jesus Christ, and follow His prescription. We allowed to call sin, sin, but we are not to judge people. We cannot assume that we know how to “fix” those caught in sin. Bring the whole situation in its entirety, which includes you, to Jesus. Let God remove the planks and dust from our own eyes (Matthew 7:5).
God knows what is best, both for you and for others. There is a time for LOVING rebuke, but it must always be done under the careful direction of the Holy Spirit. If He calls you into the situation, please do as He says but I guarantee you, He will always be the One holding the scalpel. Call upon His name, ask Him what to do, obey His commands, trust His ways. He is the most excellent of all Heart Surgeons.
Forgive me Lord for taking a place that was not mine. Here’s your scalpel back.