There is an excellent book by Brian Fikkert entitled “When Helping Hurts". The book is very instructive and helpful to the many well-intended Christians who want to help others, but in many cases may do more harm than good. I really encourage the reading of this book as it provides a level of understanding for mission work that is significant and important.
I want to discuss another way in which we often do harm, a way that is very different from what Fikkert talks about in his excellent book. I believe many Christians unwittingly do harm in their efforts to do good, as Fikkert speaks of, but I believe even more do harm in the way in which I want to speak of now.
You will notice that the title of this blog post contains a blank space. It is an empty space; a space with NOTHING in it. Sometimes we hurt when we try to help.
More often we hurt when
we do NOTHING.
The book of James decries the one who has someone at their door that is cold and hungry, and merely tells them, “be warm and filled,” but doesn't help them in any way. James wonders if the love of God is in us if we have the world’s goods and see our brother in need yet close our heart to him. James says that we should love “not in word and tongue, but in deed and truth.” The point he is trying to make is that we can’t see the needs of others and simply do NOTHING.
Yet, more times than not, that is what we do. We don’t do anything to hurt someone, we just do NOTHING at all. We feel okay about ourselves because we haven't done anything specific to hurt someone.
The real truth is doing NOTHING
is doing something wrong,
and it does hurt someone.
People die every day from lack of food, lack of clean water, inadequate sanitation, easily treatable or preventable illnesses, and other problems that we know about, but may not do anything about. When we do NOTHING, we are doing something that hurts. Doing _______________ hurts.
When we see people who are lonely and hurting, and do NOTHING, it hurts. When we see someone who is depressed and despondent, and do NOTHING, it hurts. When we see someone who doesn’t know Jesus or understand the Gospel, and do NOTHING, it hurts.
God saw a fallen, broken world, and DID SOMETHING! God is proactive, present tense, and personally involved. God so loved the world that He did SOMETHING to help. Imagine if He had done NOTHING. Let’s do SOMETHING. Let’s get on our knees, get out our wallets, and go out of our way.
Let's do something in
the Name of Jesus!