Using My Struggle
Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
When teaching in church, I used to feel like a fraud. I believed what I was saying, I was just not living it very well. It was not until after my own life disaster of addiction that I found some authenticity in my voice when telling others of what Jesus had done in my life.
Hidden in today’s beautiful passage is this principle: Those who have suffered are uniquely qualified to help others who are going through the same thing. Just as Christ is qualified to aid us as He suffered temptation, we can use our defects to help those who struggle as we do.
If I want to quit smoking or lose weight, I will be better served by someone who has known the struggle and had some success with it. No one is qualified to help me like the one who has known some victory over my defect.
When I go to jail, I do not go as one who understands being incarcerated. How could I? I go as one who understands addiction. This makes an instant connection as most of the inmates are there because of some addiction. I use my own mess to tell of what Christ has done in my life. When I honestly repent and obey, God uses my failures to help my neighbor.
In my shame, I prefer to suffer alone, but this is not productive. I must find others with whom I can share my burden and in sharing, I can help and be helped.
If you have experienced this, you know how comforting it is to hear a friend say, I have been there. I have fought this fight. I am still fighting it. Let us carry each other. You do not have to struggle alone. I am here and I know what it is like.
As Christ uses His suffering to help us, so we must use ours to help each other.