What do we do when we see someone struggling in the water, possibly drowning?
Most of us–certainly nearly all of us–would try to help in some way and do it quickly.
Yell for help.
Find a lifeguard.
Throw out a life jacket.
Maybe even jump into the water ourselves to attempt a rescue.
We would do this not just for our families and loved ones, but even for strangers.
People we had never met.
Imagine the unthinkable scenario of a person in a boat taking notice of a struggling, drowning swimmer.
Amid the cries for help, the man in the boat doesn’t reach for the life ring to throw in.
He doesn’t consider jumping into the water to save the swimmer.
Instead, he shakes his head and calls out, “Didn’t you know that the currents were rough over there?
You shouldn’t have ever gone swimming by yourself, anyway!
It’s your own fault to be in the mess you’re in!
You should’ve been in a boat, like me!”
It’s horrible just to think about it, isn’t it?
It gets a lot worse if you think about the swimmer as being someone you love.
One of your children.
Yet, could this be how we think about others that don’t know about the saving grace of Jesus?
If we have found safety and forgiveness in Him, are we reluctant to help others when they are struggling with sin and its effects?
When people we see are drowning in life’s problems, how do we respond?
Do we call out (sometimes silently in our own minds), “Didn’t you know better than to…
get mixed up with drugs?
date those kind of people?
stay out all night?
take that job?
become an alcoholic?
You should never have done that!
It’s your own fault that you’re in the mess you’re in!”
How do we respond?
Do we try to help and do it quickly?
Do we call to others to assist in helping?
Do we throw out a life ring and tell them that there is a Savior who loves them?
Do we try to jump into the “water” ourselves and begin to really know and understand their problems, all the while pointing them to God?
What if it was your child, your parent or your spouse who was struggling?
Wouldn’t you want someone—anyone—to help?
Look out on the water around you.
Who’s out there?
How will you respond?
Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.