“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
I heard from quite a few people after I shared my story yesterday. If you recall, I was in a rut and asked for some friends to pray for me. With that and some good bible time, my day turned around completely. Well, I heard from quite a few people about how they, too, were in a rut and needed prayer. Isn’t it amazing how we can be privileged so by simply reaching out and asking for help?
Here’s the thing. If I don’t say something and ask for help, how is anyone supposed to know I need it? People can’t read my mind, nor do I give many non-verbal clues. Yes, I suppose others are required to inquire about me, but, honestly, that expectation only leads to a pity party – of one. Plus, we would need to be honest. It’s really my responsibility to do most of the communicating.
Why should that be an issue? Good friends go out of their way to comfort someone in need. One asked if I wanted him to come out to my place. That wasn’t necessary, but it is sure nice to know that I have friends who would drop everything to be with me in time of need.
You have friends like that, too. Maybe not all of them, but you have some. Perhaps the best ones are those you haven’t even considered yet. How do you know? Try them out and ask them for help. You’ll soon find out who cares enough about you to do something – and who doesn’t. But don’t be so quick to judge those who don’t. Baseball batters don’t make contact with every pitch. Give them the benefit of the doubt. If they are Christian, they have the Holy Spirit inside. Sooner or later, He will make some adjustments.
For those whose ears are attentive, think about the blessing that you give them by allowing them to comfort you. If we never need help, how can they help? Remember what Jesus said? “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repent.” (Luke 5:31-32) This applies post-salvation, too. Why should Jesus help you if you refuse to ask for help.
Certainly, my own private prayer with God is heard, but I am finding out that He often answers prayer through the Holy Spirit working through other believers. Why? A couple of reasons. First, it takes humility to ask for help. God really likes when we are humble. Second, we are supposed to love one another. How loving am I if I have my arms crossed and say, “I’m good. I don’t need your help.” Trust me, people will move on. There are plenty of people for them to help. They don’t need to break through my tough-guy attitude.
Yes, the bible says it’s better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) but listen to me. If I don’t ask, how can anyone fulfill this command?
Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Lest you think Jesus didn’t need any help, think again.
Matthew 4:11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
Matthew 26:13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Matthew 26: Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
Matthew 27:32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross.
Why should I be so stubborn to think I don’t need any help?
How about you, Mr. Tough Guy? Do you have everything under control? Or you, Super Mom? Do you take care of everyone but never let anyone take care of you? Both of you will gladly help others, but will you let anyone help you? Just imagine if the strong of our church would let themselves be vulnerable. What might that teach our children? Might they become quicker to recognize need and help out? We’re lying if we say we never need help. Look at what valuable lessons we refuse to teach because we won’t let others minister to us.
Are you a leader in your church? Maybe even a pastor? There are lots of pastors who get this blog. Do you ever show yourself vulnerable to the ENTIRE congregation? Or do they see you as someone up on a pedestal? You have sin, too, you know. Why not show everyone that you, too, are sick and in need of help? Well over half of you have a serious problem with pornography. How many are in a struggling marriage? Maybe it’s time to be honest with your congregation and let them love on you and minister to you like Jesus commands them?
Here’s the deal. We will face risk of rejection. No doubt about it. You may get terribly hurt by someone you think is your trusted friend. Should that stop you from obeying Jesus? Sorry, but no, it shouldn’t. Maybe you are part of God’s plan in THAT person’s life. Here’s what I do know. Satan loves it when you don’t need help. Don’t retreat into your shell.
How about you, Pastor? What would your congregation say if they found out YOU had a serious problem with pornography? (Over half of you do.) Would that destroy your church? You probably think it would, but would it? Yes, you might lose a lot of people over it, but would that be such a bad thing? Jesus speaks of burning off the dross. THAT is a GOOD thing. Look at what you’ll be left with! Pure gold! What would be wrong with that? Everyone wonders if you might be part of the statistic anyway. Why not be honest? Brutally honest. If not pornography, then I’m sure you have SOMETHING that you need serious help with. Right?
I don’t mean to pick on pastors alone. We all have pride that gets in the way of receiving love and comfort. It was really uncomfortable for me to reach out and ask people to pray for me. Really uncomfortable. But I felt compelled by the Spirit to do it anyway. I’m really glad I did.
That’s why I’m telling you all about it.
Father, let this only be the beginning. I want to lead by example, not by pride but by humility. Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers