Pastor Martin G. Collins, writes the following about the laying on of hands: “To someone in the world, ‘laying on of hands’ conjures up thoughts of, ‘I’d like to get my hands on him for the way he cheated me!’ or, ‘Just wait until I get my hands on him!’ In contrast to the preceding, God’s use of the laying on of hands can symbolize the bestowal of blessings, authority, and distinctiveness. It is a symbolic act designed to represent God Himself setting a person apart for holy use, whether for service, healing, protection, and guidance or blessing.”
Pastor Collins gives us an accurate description of laying hands. However, I would like to enhance his definition by adding a note of caution, be careful who you allow to lay hands on you. When hands are laid on there is a transference of spirit. Expressly because the spirit of the person who is laying hands on you can be transferred to you. If the spirit of lust, greed or any spirit that is not of God dominates that person’s life, that spirit can be transferred onto you. For this reason, it is important that you know who is laying hands on you. The Bible says that Joshua was filled with the spirit of wisdom, because his spiritual father and mentor laid his hands on him.
“Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.” Deuteronomy 34:9 (NIV)
TWhile it’s important that we know who is laying hands on us, it is just as important that we know who we are laying hands on. The Bible also teaches that as pastors and leaders, we should not practice laying hands on people suddenly, without knowing or having a relationship with the person. “Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.” 1 Timothy 5:22 (NASB)
According to the text, we become responsible and share in the sin of those whom we lay hands on. We are accountable for their behavior, what they do reflects on us. Therefore, it is our responsibility to know who we lay hands on and who is laying hands on us. Practice laying hands on people you train, mentor or father. Be careful that you do not lay hands hastily or allow people you don’t know to lay hands on you.
Let me conclude and re-emphasize these final words, be careful who lays their hands on you and be careful who you lay your hands on. Like Joshua and Timothy, your ministry should reflect the personality of your instructor, mentor or father.