“But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.’”– Matthew 9:12
There are a few phrases Christians use, or people in general who want to sound spiritual, that bug me. I get so frustrated when I hear people who claim Christ refer to “Karma” or say “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.
Even more than those two phrases is the phrase, “God takes care of those who help themselves”.
Why do we allow that to be said? When did God say He will only help those who help themselves? He never did.
In fact, He came to earth for the very fact that humans can’t help themselves. We cannot do anything on our own. This phrase is a way for people to avoid or refrain from doing what Christ called us to do, which is serve everyone and anyone who is in need.
We say, “Well, if he would show some effort to fix himself, then I’ll help” or “Maybe they would deserve help if they worked harder for it”.
What if God said that? What if He said, “Well, if I saw humanity trying harder, maybe I would make the effort to save them”? I mean, God could say that, but thank Him that He didn’t.
Christ said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick” (Matthew 9:12). If He wanted people to work on themselves in order to earn His salvation or healing, then He would want the healthy, not the people who needed help.
We cannot look at other human beings and declare our own standards of serving. We cannot look at them and say what God, their Creator, would not say.
Now, it is time for the hard part. I know that first section is pretty difficult, but this is where our hands get dirty.
Caring for the sick is hard. We know we need to love all people and we need to walk in the life of those who are hurting. However, we tend to give up or step away when they don’t want to try to fix their problems. We hold to the “Maybe they would deserve help if they worked harder for it” idea, especially when they don’t change in the time we want them to.
So, what do we do in that?
Here are three ideas:
1) KEEP PRAYING! Do not allow the enemy to be victorious. Christ is the One who can change someone, not us, so we need to seek the Trinity’s power in healing and restoration.
2) KNOW YOUR LIMITS! As I just said, YOU cannot change anyone, only CHRIST can! You can only show love, support, encouragement, grace, and mercy. All these things are demonstrations of Christ message to humanity.
3) SPUR THEM ON! Look, we need to take every avenue to help. We can counsel the best we are able, but a professional may be necessary, so help them find one if needed. We want people to work, but if they don’t have the skills needed to fill out an application or develop a resume, we should try to be active in assisting them in the process. Christ always challenged people to become more and turn away from their former life, we should do the same.
This is why I said it is hard. We are called to get our hands dirty in the messy lives of other humans. Loving people unconditionally is difficult and challenging, but this is our call.
Before I finish, let me acknowledge something. There are times where we need to step back and allow life to play out for individuals, but it doesn’t mean we cut them off. We have to protect our mental and emotional health, but prayer is active and, sometimes, that is the only thing we can do.
We always need to be open to those who need help and be willing to walk in that struggle.
May we be willing and open to serving those who need help. May we be willing to love those who need to know they are loved. May we see other people the way God sees them, as a beautiful part of creation.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What are some phrases you embrace that might not match up with phrases God would you use?