Focus on People Who Want to Help
By Rick Warren
“James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church, recognized the gift God had given me, and they accepted Barnabas and me as their co-workers.” Galatians 2:9 (NLT)
Rick Warren Devotional 19 November 2022 MESSAGE
Not everyone will want to be part of your God-given plans—and that’s okay. Continue to love everyone, but only invest in the willing.
In other words, focus on those who want to help you. That was Jesus’ strategy. He loved everyone; he fed the 5,000 and preached to the crowd. But he only trained 70, discipled 12, and mentored three. His focus grew stronger with fewer people.
The three people Jesus mentored were Peter, James, and John. Only Peter, James, and John went up on the Mount of Transfiguration. Only Peter, James, and John were brought into the Garden of Gethsemane “a little farther” (Matthew 26:39 NIV) to pray with Jesus. And only Peter, James, and John witnessed Peter’s mother-in-law being healed.
Was Jesus playing favorites? Yes. He was investing the maximum amount of time with those who would bear the maximum responsibility. And his strategy worked. Later in the Bible—in the book of Galatians—Paul calls Peter, James, and John the “pillars of the church” (Galatians 2:9 NLT).
But not everyone wanted to be part of Jesus’ mission. He had a defector named Judas, one of his 12 disciples. Even though Judas’ betrayal caused enormous damage, Jesus kept his focus on the 11 faithful men, not the unfaithful one.
Some people in your life will disappoint or betray you. When this happens, remember: Don’t waste time judging them. The Bible says, “Why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat” (Romans 14:10 NIV). They are accountable to God, not to you.
Nehemiah didn’t waste time judging the people who let him down. When nobles from the town of Tekoa didn’t help rebuild their section of Jerusalem’s walls, Nehemiah said, “Their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors” (Nehemiah 3:5 NLT). That’s all he said. Nehemiah didn’t speculate or try to guess their motivation. He knew time spent judging them would be wasted time.
When someone refuses to help you accomplish what God has called you to do, don’t fret about it. Just let God be God—and keep your focus on the people who want to help.