Read 2 Corinthians 4:5
5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. (ESV)
In our care for other people within the Christian community we can do one of two things. We can play God to people or bring God to people. It is very tempting for those who have pastoral responsibility within the church to exercise control over others. To place oneself as a godlike figure who is the fount of all wisdom and as the living channel of God’s truth.
This is control masquerading as pastoral care. Beware the guru who claims to have all the answers to all the problems. Beware those who promise magic wands if only we will do things their way. Beware the fixer.
Far wiser and better to bring God to people. Help them locate God in the midst of their life situation and be with them as they and he sort things out. It is not the job of any pastoral carer to take over the life of another person, even if it is out of genuine desire to help.
As Paul reminds us, we are instruments of God’s love and power, not replacements for it. We serve people best if we allow them the freedom to relate to God and grow in God in their own unique way. We are servants not Saviours.