As a hostel volunteer in a warm climate in winter, I meet people from all over the world. *Simon was a local.
God used Simon to teach me a lesson that helps me to this day.
[The best lessons are often the difficult ones.]
Simon came daily to the hostel. For hours he drank free coffee meant for the guests. He sat among them, filling the air with strange theories.
One day as I was serving alone, my patience wore thin. Each time I passed the shaded area where guests sat, talked, or read I spied Simon – drinking another cup of coffee.
My stiff body language and side glances did not go unnoticed by Simon. As I again passed the sitting area heading to another task, Simon looked directly at me. “Do you know what your problem is?”
That did it!
I froze, then spun around and headed straight for Simon.
Oh, the chutzpah!
Me, my problem?
I practically threw myself on a sofa a few feet away, then faced Simon directly.
Before I could open my mouth, Simon said in an even tone, “Your problem is that you are jealous of *Jim.” [Jim owns the hostel and ministry.]
The pent-up frustration I had for Simon threatened to boil over. Then something amazing happened that I attribute to God’s Spirit.
I didn’t protest, deny or accuse. Instead, I gave Simon my full attention.
“What do you mean by that?”
Simon explained that my jealousy was because I was not like Jim. I was not as gracious and giving. That’s why it bothered me when he came every day to sit and drink free coffee.
I felt as if a knife struck my conscience.
Simon continued, “Jim knows I come here every day and it doesn’t bother him. But it bothers you, because you can’t let it go.”
Words came out of my mouth that, as I reflected later, resulted from the Holy Spirit’s ongoing shaping in my life as He files the rough edges.
“Simon, you’re right. I never would have thought that. But I guess I am jealous because it does bother me, and I wish it didn’t.”
With those words a heavy load lifted from me. My body relaxed, my eyes softened. I saw Simon as I hadn’t in a long time: a broken human being in need of our Savior. A fellow human trying to navigate life without knowing God.
Simon searched my eyes. Smiling, he said, “Thanks for your honesty. You’re all right you know.”
I thanked him for his brutally accurate and direct words. I apologized for the feelings I had against him.
Whenever I saw Simon thereafter, I prayed for him. I thanked the Lord for opening my eyes to an area in my life that needed to change.
A Swiss author wrote, “Jealousy is the fear of comparison.”
This proved true with me. But God used a needed reproof from an unexpected source to help me change.
God says this in Proverbs 3:12:
For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
LIFE staff member
*Pseudonyms used to protect identities.
What about you?
* Is the Lord using a “Simon” in your life to conform you more into the image of His Son?
* Or would you like to be able to truly call God your father? If so, we would love to talk with you about knowing Jesus, the only way to the Father.1
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