A friend of mine is an avid fisherman. Often he will stop me, pull out his phone and say look at what I just caught. It is often a huge, beautiful trout. I asked him “when are you going to have me over for a fish fry?” His reply was a surprise to me. He told me he releases all of his catches.
My friend followed up with that whenever you catch and release a fish, you ensure that it can keep living and successfully reproducing. By doing so, you allow each and every fish to possibly give life to thousands and thousands of new fish, which otherwise would not have existed in the body of water you are fishing.
Matthew 4:19 tells us “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” The call is not to hold the people, we are called to fish for captive or remove them from their environment. The purpose of stepping into someone else’s world is not to judge, but to help them. One of the things many people struggle within churches today is that we rush to judge outsiders and rarely look in the mirror. In other words, we are not to fish for people to benefit us or do for us, but because of their value. We are to fish for people because we intimately care for them and we value them for who they are in the eyes of God. When Jesus called us to be fishers of people he called us to a new lifestyle. A lifestyle that is passionate about loving and caring for others. Amen. Let it be So!