Sympathy is not a substitute for action
By Dr. William Holland
We do not have to look very far to find someone that needs a miracle. Many are suffering some type of crisis with everything from health problems, their children, and grieving over a loss, to finances, marriage issues and addictions. When difficult situations are presented, we become sympathetic, but how often do we consider that God may have brought these individuals to our attention so that we can not only pray but to intervene and help meet their needs? Instead of just discussing the situation and having pity, maybe we can become the miracle they are praying for. James chapter two talks about the difference between having faith without becoming involved and demonstrating our faith by our willingness to take the time and actually help them.
Have you ever been discouraged or in trouble and you cried out for God to please send somebody to help? If someone responded, you knew they were a Godsend, right? But if no one came, we assume someone was called upon but was probably just too busy or maybe they simply did not want to take the time or money to become involved. I believe this reveals more about what life is really about than we care to think about. Many people are convinced they are free to do whatever they want and I can understand this point of view for a non-Christian. However, for those who are followers of Jesus Christ, the Bible clearly explains that we are called to radically change from only thinking about ourselves to listening and obeying God as our highest priority. This transformation will produce generosity and compassion as we develop a willingness to become more like Christ in His attributes and character. I Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” When we accept the life-changing gift of salvation, we are called to let go of our old self-centered nature and become focused on the greatest commandment which includes loving God and others as ourselves.
The Bible refers to those who become God’s children as instruments and vessels of honor. The idea of being used by the Master of the universe is a privilege and as followers of Christ, we are to be listening for His voice, growing stronger in our compassion and more aware of what He desires (which by the way there is much to do). He may be guiding and preparing us to present a Bible scripture with a friend at work or maybe to share our heart in a letter to a loved one that we are concerned about. There are so many opportunities all around us where we could bring encouragement. I know there are times in my life where I could have used someone’s kindness. It feels good to know that someone cares enough to make an intentional effort to bless us as we all want to feel loved and respected. There is a passage in Galatians chapter six that talks about our deeds being like seeds and that we all reap according to what we sow. Applying this spiritual principal to our life, we can see how important it is to reach out to others in the same way we would like someone to care about us. If you need a miracle, become someone’s miracle, if you desire to have more friends, go out of your way to be friendly, if you want to be loved, learn how to love. God can connect us but our responsibility is to make ourselves available.
Jesus told a parable in Luke chapter ten about a man who was attacked by thieves and was left beside the road nearly dead. Two different men passed by (one of them a minister) and both ignored him. Then a Samaritan man found him and literally saved his life. The Good Samaritan became the wounded man’s miracle and presents the question that is worthy of consideration; are we the one who passes by or the one who becomes involved?
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky where he is a Christian minister and author of the book, “A lifestyle of Worship.” Learn more at: billyhollandministries.com.