When we are sick and have germs we are very careful not to spread them to babies, yet we spread germs of discouragement to new Christians. We spread them by our holier than thou attitudes and we try to impress them with our knowledge of the Bible and our wisdom. How sad that is because instead of encouraging them by our patience, understanding and kindness, we discourage them with our impatience and criticism.
We expect new Christians to never make a mistake and to know everything. We forget that we were new Christians once ourselves and we had to learn how to trust Jesus and that we also made a lot of mistakes. However, God was patient with us and He was tender to us just as a nurse is to a patient. If God is patient with us when we fail Him so many times, how much more we should be patient with new Christians who are only babies in Christ.
But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-9 King James Version
I remember when I first became a Christian; someone said to me “You know the Bible is very clear on this subject.” Well, no, I didn’t know that because I had been a Christian less than an hour when she said that to me. I hadn’t even opened my Bible to start studying it yet. I had read the Bible for many years but had never allowed it to penetrate my heart.
Sad to say, many people who have been Christians for years are still just reading the Bible. They haven’t allowed the depths of the love of Jesus for them to penetrate their hearts. They have memorized all the “Thou shalt not” but haven’t grasped the mercy, grace and forgiveness of Jesus in a personal way. They are saved but they don’t know Jesus. They don’t know how wonderful, kind, gracious, tender, understanding and precious He is.
Please don’t spread germs of discouragement to babies in Christ. Encourage them with your kindness, understanding, hugs and caring ways. Instead of telling them that they need to study the Bible, make the time to study with them. Be gentle with them as a nurse is with a patient and as Jesus is with us. Are you spreading germs of discouragement to new Christians? If you have been doing that, ask God to forgive you and help you to be an encouragement instead of a discouragement to these precious babies in Christ.