Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
This is the second day of our Courageous Care Challenge. This truly is going to be a power-packed week that can completely transform the way you reach out to those around you who are hurting and love them through their pain.
And it all starts by recognizing what is getting in the way of reaching out in the first place.
We started off yesterday talking about why this is such an issue, and I just want to repeat some of that again, because I think we need to hear it. I think we really need to understand just how much our inaction, our lack of care, can impact the lives of others.
Michael Slater wrote, “To hurt is bad enough, but to hurt alone destroys people physically, mentally, and spiritually.” You guys, I know I quote that all the time, but we need to drill that into our hearts and minds.
Have you ever gone through something alone, with no one there to support you, to take care of you, to cry with you? Do you know how devastating it can be?
I mean, just think back over the past year as we watched hundreds and thousands of people die all alone in the hospitals because of the pandemic. People sitting outside at the hospital because they weren’t allowed in to see their wife or their husband. How incredibly heartbreaking. How tragic.
And yet, if we see someone who is hurting, do we take the time to reach out to them, to see how they are doing, to see if we can help? Or do we let fear get in the way? Do we let our questions get in the way?
Again, during this challenge, we are taking an honest look at the obstacles and objections we use for not stepping out and taking action. Every day, we are going to take a closer look at just one obstacle. We’re going to name it, we’re going to identify it, and we’re going to address it head on.
And, again, I’m going to challenge you to take action. Because that’s what this challenge is all about. I don’t want you to sit here and just listen. I want you to actually step out and do something.
Yesterday we talked about the first obstacle to reaching out, and that was uncertainty. “I don’t know what to say.” “I don’t know what to do.” This is probably the number one thing that trips us up. We’re afraid of saying or doing something that will hurt our friend or be seen as insensitive, and so we say or do nothing at all. And friends, that is not helpful. If you’ve not listened to that episode yet, go back and listen to it.
Today, we’re diving into the second obstacle, and that is that you are unavailable. In other words, “I don’t have the time.”
I don’t have time to take you to your doctor’s appointment.
I don’t have time to help you move into your apartment.
I don’t have time to watch your kids.
I don’t have time to fix you a meal.
I don’t have time.
I’m too busy.
I’ve got too much going on right now.
How many of you, this is what you say? This is what you think? Even if you wanted to help—which, I’m going to ask you, do you really want to help?—even if you wanted to help, you don’t have the time to actually do anything for them.
You’re too busy running your kids to school and to practice, and too busy getting ready for your meeting, and too busy getting to the store, and too busy fixing supper, and too busy running this committee, and too busy getting volunteers for that…
And friend, you are just. Too. Busy.
We are not going to dive into all of this today, but I do want to focus on this one thing:
Are you really too busy? Or is that just an excuse?
And if you really are too busy, is that something God is calling you to change so that you can create more margin in your schedule so you actually have the time to be there for your friends when they need you?
I know that so many of us are living at these hectic paces, and not only is it destroying us, but it’s ruining any chances we have to witness to and care for those in our lives who are really hurting.
We don’t have time to minister to them because we’re too busy doing all these other things.
Are those things really important? Are they things God has called you to do?
Today, I want to invite you to bring those questions before God. Open up your calendar or your planner. Look at your to-do list. Ask God if there is anything that needs to change. Ask with open hands.
Perhaps for this season, He is okay with you living at this busy pace. You are doing what He has asked you to do. Or maybe you’re in a difficult season yourself, caring for an aging parent or taking care of littles at home. And that’s exactly where your focus and energy need to be going right now.
But maybe, just maybe, He will show you one or two things you can let go of so that you can reach out to a friend who is going through a really difficult time. So you can let her know how much you care about her. So you can let her know how much she matters to you.
Our Bible verse for this series is Luke 6:36—“You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” God calls us to show His compassion to the world around us. And Jesus was such a great example for us.
Today, I want to share another story where Jesus showed compassion.
In Mark chapter 1, a leper comes up to Jesus, kneels in front of Him, and begs to be healed. And verse 41 (NLT) says, “Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him.”
Jesus saw this man’s pain, his brokenness, his sores, and He reached out and physically touched him. In a world that shunned the lepers, that cast them to live outside of town, that didn’t let them worship with them… Jesus, in His compassion, reaches out to touch him. And He heals him.
Imagine what that must have been like for the leper, to be on the receiving end of such compassion.
Who needs that touch from you? Who needs your attention? Who is hungry for companionship?
“You must be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.”
Don’t let fear get in the way of caring for those who are hurting. Be like Jesus and reach out. Just reach out.
So obstacle number one, we’re uncertain. “I don’t know what to say.” “I don’t know what to do.” I challenged you to just say something. As imperfect as it is, let your friend know that you are there for her.
Obstacle number two, we’re unavailable. “I don’t have the time.” Today, I challenged you to look at your calendar and schedule to see if God is calling you to let go of some things so you have more margin, more free space in your life to actually be there for your friend. To sit with her. To take her to doctor’s appointments. To bring her coffee.
We’ve got three more obstacles to go. Are you going to be here? Are you going to show up? I hope you do. If you’re listening, I know it’s because God has placed this desire in you to reach out, to help, to care for others. And I want to help you do that.
You guys, if this is hitting home with you and you want to learn more… I’m not going to share a ton about this today, but I have a masterclass coming up where we are going to dive deeper into these obstacles. And these obstacles are just the first part of my Courageous Care framework for reaching out to those who are hurting. We are going to cover so much more.
If you’re interested, if you want to learn more, go ahead and go to lovedoesthat.org/care and sign up for the waitlist for that class. It’s going to be completely free, but it will be very limited in size because I want to be able to look you in the eye and talk these things over. So sign up for the list, and as soon as that class is available here in a couple weeks, I’ll let you know.
My friends, I fully believe that we can replace our fear with a care that is both courageous and compassionate. We really can. Come back tomorrow for day three of our Courageous Care Challenge.
- “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:36 NLT)
- “Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him.” (Mark 1:41 NLT)