It’s not that people don’t care. They do.
It’s not that people don’t want to be involved. They do.
It’s just that people don’t want to help someone who doesn’t want the help. Or be disrespectful or an inconvenience – or perhaps even the other end of the scale; If others are already helping then why would I (need to) pitch in!
So instead of acting upon what can clearly be seen, like a friend or church member being ill, people regress into an indifferent state of mind; Telling themselves “She said she was fine. I must respect that, so I’ll leave her to her own devices, shrug my shoulders and tell myself “that’s what she wants”… Despite it being visibly crystal clear that the sick friend was not fine at all.
No, of course not all churches are like this!!…But sadly, many are!
I truly believe that sometimes we need to love God enough to break the rules.
Now, before you slap my face… I mean the man-made rules, the courtesy rules, the “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone” rules…
Don’t you know?
Haven’t you heard?
– We make Yahweh smile by loving Him – and putting a smile on the faces of our family in the unity of His body – in our faith.
Jesus loves us – and enough to give away of… so pass it on, shall we?
Illness and bad circumstances are no strangers to anyone I think… but I have seen several things lately that has thrown me off. One or two which I would actually have been willing to share but I would be breaking God’s rule of “don’t gossip” so I won’t.
What I do want to say about it is this:
When the people around you, friends and church family, do not take notice of your failing health or the expression in your eyes or if someone does take notice but do not ring the alarm bells to have help put into action, something is very wrong.
People take on the mindset of indifference.
I have a beef with that!
Love without action is wasted.
Prayers are great… but oftentimes within His body, more is needed.
When you can SEE that someone needs help – would you do more than pray for the person if you have the ability to help?
– Does a friend cross the line if they help you, without asking permission first?
– Is it inconvenient to have a meal hung on your doorknob?
– Is it a bother if someone would say “I’ll come by Saturday and mow your lawn!”?
I know we all have full plates; Our own family of course, a long to-do list, church responsibilities or we just can’t seem to get our act together… really? Are we all so caught up in ourselves that we can’t postpone or strike something from the list and go help someone?
I’m not saying you as an individual should go all out and into the extreme to help others… well, actually that would be nice… but churches can make sign up sheets and you can write your name committing to help with gardening, bringing a meal or doing laundry…
If you really are indifferent, then you are lukewarm and… well, Jesus was pretty clear about what He thinks of that!
But I’d like to think that most believers are not indifferent in the heart…
but the evidence of otherwise just seems to elude me.
If there is a struggle between the willingness to act vs a fear of being disobedient, then perhaps we can remember Ruth when she obeyed Naomi and went to lay at the feet of Boaz… but what did Ruth actually do?
She didn’t wait for him to tell her what to do, as Naomi had asked her to. No, she spoke up… and essentially asked Boaz for marriage.
She disobeyed Naomi, I believe, but I also believe that she obeyed God – “under Who’s wings she had come to take refuge”.
I think Ruth knew that her stumbling into Boaz’ field was no coincidence, for if you trust the Lord, then there are no coincidences… We need to LOVE those whom the Lord places in our path.
This post was sparked by my dear friend Joel and he brought up Ecclesiastes 7:16-18, because it talks about the extremes… I personally prefer to look up several translations before settling on one that, to me, will make most sense. In this case, I’d like to read the passage in The Message translation:
Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 MSG
So don’t knock yourself out being good, and don’t go overboard being wise. Believe me, you won’t get anything out of it. But don’t press your luck by being bad, either. And don’t be reckless. Why die needlessly? It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.
The first part talks about pride I believe: Doing everything right all the time – appearing to be perfect and actually, I think that drives more people away than drawing anyone closer.
But don’t act in bad ways continually. If you break the rules all the time, you’ll get in trouble and people get tired of a troublemaker.
I love that last part that states:
See both sides of the coin and deal responsibly with reality;
With what we can SEE.
We can obey a lot of good rules, but sometimes, we need to see the reality, step out in faith and act on what we can see – so we can help those within the body who are in need. Even if it means breaking a man made rule.
And no, I’m not a Catholic despite two photos of Catholics are on this post, but it serves to illustrate “LOVE in action”.