Most of our barriers are imaginary. (Michael Hyatt)
Obviously, there are real barriers that really do preclude certain activities. I, for instance, will never be able to wrestle sumo style; I do not, and never will, have the right form of body. Neither willpower or training or positive thinking can alter that reality.
But when it comes to our ability to provide pastoral care for another member of Christ’s body, most of our imagined barriers are actually just excuses.
There are more than fifty admonitions in the New Testament regarding our interaction with other believers. God does not command us to do things that are not possible for us to do. We have no excuse for not loving one another, forbearing one another, forgiving one another, etc. We may imagine that so and so is not lovable, or forgivable, or endurable – but those are not true barriers.
Shepherding care, at its core, is a matter of applying the one another commands of scripture. We don’t need anyone’s permission to accept someone, comfort them, or even exhort them. We don’t need special training or a certain educational degree. We simply need to believe that the Great Shepherd cares, and that he wants to use as to manifest that care.
Let’s imagine better things than barriers.