"Don't hit a cracked ball." In golfing, this is common sense. Cracked and damaged balls are loose cannons when approached by a driving force. While I know this mentally, I couldn't resist hitting ALL of the balls at the driving range that had bounced into my bucket. And, sure enough, when the club made contact, the cracked ball went out of control. First, it went straight up, hitting the ceiling of the driving range cover, then it whizzed past the heads of other golfers as they ducked for cover. Ricocheting off the side wall it never slowed as it headed back the way it came. By now the lineup of practicers were running for safety. Every contact with a solid surface sent it off again. When the ball finally came to rest, Jim looked at me and calmly asked, "How did you do that?" "I hit a cracked ball," I lamented. "You could have killed somebody," he scolded. And, he was right.
Unfortunately, we have some emotionally damaged people who have landed in our church. They bounce right in with the rest of the crowd until we make contact with them. Then, they spin out of control. Maybe we asked them to manage a project, teach a class, make food for a family in need, etc. But the contact that was meant to put them into action, put them out of control. And, their out-of-control life endangered the spiritual life of others.
As ministry spouses it is so important for us to recognize these people before we send them careening into others. It is difficult because, unlike the golf ball, many emotionally handicapped people look like everybody else from the outside, Only God knows the inside. I believe God can give us the wisdom to sort out just how to approach each person. May each of us have that wisdom, courtesy of the Holy Spirit, right now.