When she rose to glean, Boaz commanded his servants, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her. And also you shall purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.
Ruth 2:15 and 16
Sometimes we have too high expectations of new Christians. We forget that we were new…once.
When Ruth began to gather grain to provide herself and her mother-in-law, Boaz, the owner of the field gave his servants very specific instructions. He said, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her. Also you shall purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.” He went out of his way to not only make sure Ruth had enough to feed her family, but also to ensure that she wasn’t shamed or harassed. Boaz made sure that this foreign woman would be safe physically and emotionally.
Do we do the same spiritually for new believers? Are we gentle and helpful? Or do we expect them to look and act just like us? Growing up, I witnessed a number of Christian organizations who were big into leading people to Christ, but not much more. A new believer would be given a booklet about salvation and maybe a Bible, in some cases. If the young Christian found a church, many times they would be expected to change their appearance (for example, shave their beard), even if their look wasn’t inappropriate. It just made others in the pew uncomfortable. Then, they were expected to know how to act. Elders would be harsh if they didn’t know to take off their hat or some other trivial thing. Can we try to be like Boaz? Can we look past the eye brow piercing and the tattoos and see the person standing before us?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me for the times I’ve expected too much of young believers. Forgive me for my quick-to-judge attitude. Help me to spot their needs and help them as a sister, as others have helped me. In Jesus Name, Amen