Just because our members are mentally challenged does not mean that they are not able to manipulate.  There was times that our members are able to be even more cunning than any person with a genius IQ.  Therefore, a teacher or pastor whose mission is to help disciple people who are developmentally disabled needs to try to decipher if a person is trying to pull a fast maneuver.  We have two choices.  1)  We can give a member the benefit of the doubt; or 2) we can call his bluff.

Several months ago, I was faced with an interesting situation in which a faithful member got an awful attitude because a close friend had hurt her feelings.  I was puzzled and confused about the behavior that she exhibited.  When it came time for her to help with a program we were presenting, she was not able to lose herself from those haunting and negative feelings. 

It was an important part that she was to play and the rest of the performers needed her.  I was not sure that others could do the performance without her.  Even though it seemed detrimental to the program that we were to present, it was as though she fully understood the awful situation her bad mood had put us all in and she was daring me to discipline her. 

I had time to pray about the situation, as we prepared for the performance.  I simply asked God to help me make the right decisions at the right time.  As we approached the stage for their time to present the Gospel message, I realized that her attitude had not changed.  Quickly, I knew that I must make a decision. 

I believed that it was more important to her personal growth to pull her out of the presentation than to allow her to participate in her present state of mind.  You could say that I chose to “call her bluff.”  I asked her to sit down and not be a part of the presentation.  At first, the other presenters were so shocked that I would take that stand that they were visibly moved and questioned me with their eyes.  They knew that by pulling her from the presentation, they were all in a more vulnerable spot.  However, they quickly recovered.  The presenters  not only finished their performance but filled in for her with amazing grace. 

After the dust had settled and I was alone to contemplate what had happened, the Lord spoke to my heart.  “Why do you constantly try to depend on someone other than me?”  Wow!  Where did this come from?  Was God calling my bluff?  It was true. I had come to depend on this  talented, young woman to bring success when we made presentations.  I felt the Lord was saying that I must continue to depend on Him not people who are gifted. 

More often than I want to admit, I slip into an attitude of depending of people, rather than God.  Most of the time, God gives me the benefit of the doubt.  That day He decided to “call my bluff.”  By pulling the person on whom I was depending, I had to depend fully on Him.  Of course, the Lord again proved that He is more faithful than I could ever hope to be.

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