Mar 25

What Jesus DOESN’T Say About Helping Others

20120325-082843.jpgToday’s Reading:
Deut: 4:1-49
Luke: 6:39-7:10
Psalms: 68:1-18
Proverbs: 11:28

What Jesus DOESN’T Say About Helping Others
This morning I had to stop the DAB Podcast and scribble down a few things. I made it through Deuteronomy, but Luke stopped me in my tracks.

Before we can get into what Jesus doesn’t say about helping people, we need to see what he does say. Here goes:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:41, 42 NIV)

Taking a “Damage Control Inventory” where I look around and see where this applies to me and my life, I see this is a common deception I continually fall victim to. I want to help people so much that I spout off some “words of wisdom” (Yeah Right) before examining my own actions in regards to a similar situation.

Where I see my shortcomings most is with my family and friends. That’s so sad, because I want nothing more than to be there to help them through whatever they are going through. What I end up doing is seeing how they are not helping me and getting upset about it. Then I recognize how unhelpful my selfishness has become and I feel guilty. Finally, I leave the situation alone in hopes not to repeat the process again later… only to disappoint myself (and others) again. Vicious cycle.

Let’s review… members of my family and friends are going through tough times and I am concerned about me. Hmmm. I just identified the “red flag”. From now on, I should recognize the deception right there. The moment I’m concerned about self for the sake of self I am being decieved.

What Jesus DOESN’T Say
So, what is it that Jesus doesn’t say about helping out your brother? If. That’s right, If. He doesn’t say “If you want to say something then examine yourself first and If you want to then go and say something.” He says to “Remove the speck from your own eye, then you help your brother remove his” (paraphrasing of course but you get the idea). No Ifs…

He’s not saying fix yourself if you feel like it. He’s saying FIX YOURSELF… THEN HELP YOUR BROTHER. Of course he’s also pointing out that we are hypocritical and that is where I have left this passage every other time I’ve read it.

That’s why I love reading the Bible in a full revolution each year. I see something new each time. The Bible is so dynamic.

How Does This Picture Relate?
Before we can even help our children, we have to address the problems that are immediate in our own lives (those planks and specks) like oxygen on a falling plane. Like most things in the Kingdom of God, it is counter-intuitive. Our natural inclination is to help those around us before helping our selves because “that is the right thing to” when in fact ‘our help’ is keeping them from the very things they need. And if WE work on OURSELVES first then we can be fit to help out when we are needed.

This picture puts things into perspective. If we try to help those that we love the most without providing attention to the immediate needs for change in our own circumstances all involved will perish.

Review Time
First look to myself and what obstacles stand in the way of me helping those around me and address them myself instead of waiting for others to help me. Then I MUST go to the other person and offer help. Invest in their needs by listening and reacting; not controlling, suggesting, forcing, manipulating, or anything else. Simply being present, waiting, and responding with the Love that Jesus modeled and filled me with as a believer.

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