What should we do when a friend or loved one is suffering? How can we love them, support them, and journey with them in their suffering in a way that is encouraging and helps rather than hurts them?
As believers in Christ Jesus, we are charged to walk alongside each other in our pain. Yet sometimes, in our efforts to reach out to a suffering friend, we unwittingly hurt the very ones we want to help.
Here are a few tips for some things to do:
When there’s a serious accident, there are two types of emergency vehicles that show up. The police, who try to figure out what happened and who’s at fault. And the paramedics, whose purpose is to help all those who are hurt. This same dynamic can be found in our relationships. Even our relationship with God.
There are some people who are like police. They try to find out what happened, and who’s to blame. And many blame God for the circumstances of life. There are others who are more like the paramedics. They’re not interested in the why, they know it happened and that it’s a bummer, but now they are focused on helping and making the situation better.
We tend to be too much like the police sometimes. We tend to point at others as the blame for our problems and circumstances. Maybe it’s at a spouse, maybe it’s a colleague . We will even point at God as the cause of our situations. But according to Scripture, God is not to blame. Sin is to blame. If we’re looking for causes in the breakdown of our society, our relationships, and/or the reasons for suffering, it is the natural consequences of sin. It’s the darkness of this world. And people have shown themselves to love living in the darkness.
According to John 9:1-6, the story of the blind man, Jesus came to bring healing. He came to make wrongs right, and remove pain and suffering from all. He did not come to condemn the world, to hurt or punish, but instead to save. His mission was to be a light in this dark world. He had an eternal perspective and purpose.
And now that Jesus is gone, it’s our mission to be a light in the world. A light to each other. We need to be more like a paramedic and help those around us. To heal the effects and consequences of sin. May we bring grace and peace to all.
Adapted from a Chuck Smith Sermon on Blue Letter Bible
He who tries to quiet an awakened conscience is like the man who one night was unable to sleep because his faithful dog continued to bark under his window. He went to the window and yelled at the dog for it to be quiet so that he might sleep, but the barking continued. After some time the man became angry, took a gun, and shot the dog in his anger.
The man ought to have known that the dog wanted to tell him that burglars were attempting to enter the house, and that the faithful dog was only trying to save his master’s life. After the dog was dead and the man had fallen to sleep, the burglars entered the house, stole everything of value, and ended by killing the man himself.
The devil is trying to destroy many a sinner’s soul, the sinner’s conscience, like the faithful dog, gives the alarm, but the sinner cries to it: “Lie down”. The quieting of an awakened conscience can only be rightly done by getting rid of sin, and to get rid of sin there is but one way, that is, to be washed in the blood of the Lamb.
Are you familiar with the names Plato, Socrates and Aristotle? These guys were some of the greatest, and well-known names in history. Their thoughts on “truth” have been taught in schools for centuries. But did you know, that Jesus came after their deaths? And that by the time Jesus arrived here on earth, the quest for truth that those men tried so hard to find, was dead too. The question became more like, “Forget truth, what is truth anyways?”
Today, truth is looked upon much the same way. There is no universal truth anymore…..everything is relative. It’s all subject to the individuals interpretation. We seem to believe that truth can come from anywhere and anyone. We actually think we’re free from any truth, except for our own. Or we just except someone else’s opinion or stance on a particular truth. But is that truth? Is there truth out there?
Jesus teaches throughout scripture that He is the truth, and that the truth that comes from him will set us free. He will set us free from the bondage of sin, and allow us to live our life in truth. We won’t be able to live a perfect life, but it will be one that is set apart. That impacts lives for the better. And that we will ultimately be in heaven with Him for eternity. It’s only through Jesus we find truth…and true freedom.
Start your quest for truth with the person named Jesus. Read the book of John, located in the Bible, to see truth like never before.
Jen Hatmaker – Four Stages of Road Trip Management
Who all of those who have taken a roadtrip with children, if you may ever take a road trip with children, or if you simply need a little of that sunshine in your life today, then this 3-minute video will be well-worth your time. Enjoy!
Last week, the Sergeant Bluff Pizza Ranch hosted a Community Impact Night for Tri-State Soccer players to help fund team travel to several out of state tournaments. It was held on Tuesday, which is the restaurant’s Kids’ Night, so the 15 teenage-boy soccer players who were volunteering stayed plenty busy the whole evening! The Pizza Ranch Manager who worked that evening had nothing but positive things to say about having the soccer players there, including that they were a great, energetic group of kids who were so polite and respectful. A player’s mom who attended was very impressed with the Sergeant Bluff staff and how they taught the players everything they needed to know to make the evening a success. The mom also mentioned how important it was for the boys to learn how to work and earn money instead of asking for donations; the Community Impact Night was the perfect way to do this. Maybe there are some future Ranch Hands on the team once soccer season comes to a close!