Restoring People

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Christian Living, Ministry
Tags: , , , , ,

I am reading through the Bible again, and I’m in Leviticus right now. It’s a great book, but one that causes a lot of people to give up on their “Bible in a Year” plan. It contains a lot of specifics and rituals that bog people down, but if you can back away from the rituals, themselves, and see the big picture, a lot can be gleaned from the text. If you want, you can check out my last post on Leviticus 9 here.

Anyway, on to Leviticus 13. The stuff that has to happen in the lives of people in the Old Testament is pretty, how should I put it…. intricate. The rules to follow, the painstakingly precise measurements and strict guidelines, seem almost impossible to get right. Again, just like in Leviticus 9, I am glad I don’t have to do these things to follow God. But, also like Leviticus 9, I believe that there are principles and ideas that transcend the strict guidelines, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

In Leviticus 13 God gives Moses and Aaron the steps to take for determining the cleanliness of the Israelites. Specifically, God is talking about defiling skin disease, but the process is pretty interesting. When someone feels like they have become unclean, they go to the priest for an assessment. From there, the priest spends time inspecting the person and seeing if the person is unclean. If he is unclean, the priest is supposed to give instructions and then (and pay attention to this) check up on him. The usual, initial step is to give the guy a week and see what happens. The priest comes back after seven days and reinspects. This process continues until the man is clean. An interesting piece of information is that the unclean man is kept away from the others while he goes through the cleansing process. God works on him away from the other people to protect them throughout the process.

Is this how we take care of peolpe today? Do we take those who are in need of help and help them until they are “clean”? Do we continue to investigate and help others until they are restored? These are questions I ask myself as I deal with people who are in need of help. I try to spend a lot of time working with those who ask for and need help and support. I try to be there for those around me so that I can help restore them.

I have even asked people to step away from ministry for a while to give them time to be restored. Restoration is a big part of healing. We tend to turn our backs on those who fall short of our standards, but we rarely do anything to help them get back on their feet. I have seen many people stumble, and I have seen many of those people let down by those around them. Ministry is about reaching out and restoring people to a right relationship with God. How are you accomplishing the mission?

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