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!
Are we actually doing more harm than good by doing nothing at all? Do we hurt those in need by taking no action at all? It's time for us to do stand up and do something!
While we may not love what we see in the mirror, most of us would never leave home without first checking our appearance to make sure everything was in order. Paul also instructed the Corinthians to “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves" (II Cor. 13:5).
The idea of making a joyful noise to the Lord is often associated with singing, but our "noises" don't always have to be audible. When we live a life pleasing to God, we truly begin living loud.
We all have personal struggles we cannot always understand or control, but God is not overwhelmed by our chaos. Where are you at in your walk with God?
Our neighbor’s house, spouse, servant or ox would be no temptation if we were truly and completely content in our circumstances and life situations. It is as though we could rephrase the tenth commandment by saying, “Be content.”
The deeper and broader we look, the more we can see the hand of God moving over the earth in power and authority. How do you see God at work in the world?
We all go through periods of "dryness" in our spiritual lives, those times in the dry desert when we feel empty, alone, and far from God. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, the remedy for spiritual dryness is quite simple.
Maybe even the worst of times aren't far from the best of times when we trust our unfailing God all of the time. Do you believe God is working all things together for your good?
Like sheep, we have gone astray, but we aren't just any sheep, we are the sheep of His pasture.
Billions of people are waiting to hear the Gospel, but, "If you don’t know, then you don’t know that you don’t know." Will you tell those who don't even realize they need the Good News of Christ?
Every day, we make significant investments of our time, resources, and energy. We may not be climbing Mount Everest, but we do constantly take risks. The question we must ask ourselves is: Is it worth it?
The “land between” is the place in life where God seems silent, even absent; but the resurrection teaches us that if all seems lost, God is still at work. Perhaps, this is even when He is doing His greatest work...