Going for the Gold

by Andy Wood on August 12, 2011

in Insight, Leadership, Life Currency, Love

During the days of the American Old West, a tribe of Apaches captured the army paymaster’s safe.  The Apaches had never seen a safe, but they did know that it held a large amount of gold.  So they went to work on it.

First, they pounded on its knob with stones.  No results.  Then they used their tomahawks on the tempered steel case.  When that failed, they roasted the safe because they knew that iron can be softened by fire.  But that didn’t work, either.  Then they threw it off a cliff.  All that did was break one of its wheels.  Next, they soaked it in the river.  Finally, they tried to blast it open with gunpowder, which only resulted in some of them being injured.

Totally frustrated, they tumbled the safe into a ravine.  When the army found it, the gold was still inside.

As you lead your organization, reach out to friends, teach that class, or spend time loving children, remember that in any endeavor involving the hearts of people, are “going after the gold.”  And like the gold in the safe, many people have encased their hurts, their failures, and their “real selves” with a protective shell and a “keep out” sign. Some of them are afraid of being exposed.  Some are unwilling to admit they have a need.  Some have just grown calloused and vowed they would never be hurt again.  I can’t begin to tell you the number of times and the number of ways that someone has said in effect, “If you knew me the way I know myself, you wouldn’t like me either!”

Know what’s interesting?  There is Someone who knows you even better than you know yourself.  Psalm 139 says that He was searched you and known you – your sitting down and your rising up, your thoughts, your words, your ways.  He has surrounded you with His presence, and has fearfully and wonderfully made you.  He knows all there is to know about you, and all His thoughts toward you are precious (Psalm 139:17)!

Now if God knows more about you than you know about yourself, and He finds something in you worth loving, doesn’t it seem possible that YOU can find something worth loving, too?  In yourself?  And in others?

How do we reach the hearts of people?  Well, let’s face it – we will never reach the heart by pounding, hacking, roasting, dropping, or soaking!  It didn’t work for the Apaches, and it won’t work for you!

We reach the heart the way a safecracker opens a safe – by quietly, gently, sensitively listening and watching for the right “combination.”  By treating people as though they had a precious treasure inside!  By showing them the same grace and unconditional love that Jesus showed you.

Ken Medema once wrote a song that says, “Don’t tell me I’ve got a friend in Jesus without showing me first that I’ve got a friend in you.”  Wouldn’t it be refreshing if others knew they were unconditionally loved?  However they had failed, however short they come to our standards, however worthless they feel?

God wants us to be living trophies of His grace.  And the best way I know to be a trophy of grace is to express God’s grace to other people.  They will know He loves them when they know that we do.

In all you do as you connect with people, go for the gold!  There really is a priceless treasure in there.

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