If you’ve ever misplaced a book, a set of keys, or even a pair of glasses, you know how frustrating it can be searching for those items. You retrace your steps, ask others to help you look, and even check the same places over and over again. Usually, just about the time you are prepared to give up searching, you discover the item you were looking for, exactly where you left it. Often, our good works in the name of the Lord seem to get lost in a worldly forest, and we wonder if the results will ever eventually manifest themselves in a meaningful glow that escapes gravity of darkness. When we tell others about sin and how to avoid it, we shouldn’t expect immediate results. Some learn the hard way. When we explain to friends how to get over a grievous act that has been done to them, we should not be upset if it takes a while for forgiveness to take root. Searching for the “results” of our good deeds is not like looking for a missing item. Sometimes, the result will never be known or understood by our human mind.
Planting the seeds of spiritual wisdom is not something that can be measured by pie charts or bar graphs. When we offer what we consider to be sound Biblical advice to acquaintances, friends, relatives and coworkers, we have no guarantee they will absorb or act on what we say. We can only hope and pray the Holy Spirit moves upon them, convincing them to comprehend the importance of what we have offered with sincere humility. Nevertheless, it is sometimes heartbreaking to see the people we know head down a destructive path while we are waving a flag labeled “detour” in front of them.
Romans 12:10 (NIV) says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” This Word of God delivered from the Apostle Paul reminds us that it is not our pride we should be concerned with when we feel others are not acting on our advice. Not everyone is on the same spiritual floor we are on. Some know very little about the Gospel of the Holy Bible. Some may not know anything. And even when we reach out to help those who are very familiar with the Bible, we must not be personally offended if we don’t see the “results” of our advice. We must never tire of good efforts because we cannot see the desired result we think should come about. God may have a different plan for the person we know and have offered advice. Maybe he hasn’t reached his season. Maybe she needed to hear the Word but isn’t ready to act on the Word at this time in her life.
Instead of looking for the “results” you think your good advice should produce, realize the results are not missing at all; they are in God’s hands. He will be the ultimate judge of everyone’s efforts, intentions, and good deeds. Keep the good advice flowing; some of the best followers of God and His teachings took a long time to mature, a long time to take a detour, even with so many signs along the road.