THE JOY OF HELPING PEOPLE ON A MESSY PLANET
I remember the phone call very well. It was 4:00 am, and a leader in our church was in the middle of a full-scale family emergency. Soon he and his wife were sitting in our living room pouring out their hearts and praying with us. This kind of thing is one of the greatest privileges of being in full-time pastoral ministry. Helping people in need (sometimes overwhelming need) is part of what God calls leaders to do. Put simply: it’s a joy to help people! Many of you are also deeply involved and invested in people’s lives and know the joy of which I speak. I love that I am called to preach God’s word, but I also love that I am called to help others and pastor them.
Don’t get me wrong. Becky and I have known hurt—deep hurt. We’ve been: betrayed (more than once), attacked, yelled at, chewed out, sworn at, ganged up on, and manipulated. We’ve been deceived and falsely accused. We know what it’s like to be used, abused, and misused. Believe me, we have the scars to prove it! But who hasn’t experienced many of these things? Part of being human is knowing “people pain.” This is a messy planet; however, I still believe that helping people is worth the risks.
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus says, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (NLT). There’s something incredibly Christ-like about helping others in need. The book of Proverbs talks a lot about this. The reason is that people are made in God’s image and reflect His glory. As Jesus says in Matthew 25:40, “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (NIV). This is true even if those we are helping are not Christians. So, jump into other’s lives. Love deeply, laugh often, forgive quickly, and experience the joy of helping people on our messy planet. The needle on your “joy-o-meter” will register higher—guaranteed!
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor