Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
I’m so glad you’re here with me today as we dive into the fourth day of our Courageous Care Challenge. I’m not going to lie, today and tomorrow are going to be hard ones. God has really been convicting me of some things in His own gentle, yet firm way. Do you know what I mean?
But before we jump into today’s topic, let’s do a quick review. This Courageous Care Challenge is all about identifying the top five obstacles and objections we have when it comes to reaching out to those around us who are hurting. These could be family members. These could be friends. These could be people from church or work. Whoever is part of your neighborhood, so to speak. Your world. People you pass on a regular basis.
When you see them struggling or grieving, what stops you from reaching out to them?
On day one, we talked about how we are often uncertain. “I don’t know what to do.” “I don’t know what to say.” And so we do nothing.
On day two, we talked about how we are sometimes unavailable. “I don’t have the time.”
Yesterday, on day three, we talked about how we can be unfamiliar. “I don’t know anything about what my friend is going through.”
And each of these obstacles stops us dead in our tracks and we are paralyzed into inaction. We don’t call our friend. We don’t show up for them. We don’t help them out. And because of that, they might get the idea that we don’t care, that we don’t love them.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. We love them so much. And that’s why we have to break through the fear and the questions and find ways to reach out anyway. That’s what this challenge is all about. If you haven’t listened to the other episodes yet, be sure to go back and do that.
As I said, today is going to be a hard one. So is tomorrow. But we’re going to go there. We’re going to name it. And we’re going to ask God to help us change. Because our loved ones are worth it, are they not?
So obstacle number four… we are uncomfortable. What does this look like? “It’s hard to watch them struggle.”
How many of you, this is you? I imagine it’s most of us. You are here because you care so deeply. And when others hurt, you hurt, too. You can’t help it.
You see someone crying? Tears start rolling down your face.
You see someone in pain? Your heart just breaks.
God created us with this amazing sense of empathy. That is by His design. And yet… it’s not easy. It’s not easy to see someone hurting. To watch them suffer. To watch them grieve. To see the physical toll illness can take on their body.
When a family member has Alzheimer’s and they begin to lose their memory… when they begin to call you by the wrong name… when they forget you altogether… when their body begins to shut down… The person caring for them has a thousand little “deaths” as they watch their loved one deteriorate. How incredibly difficult.
To see your friend with cancer the first time after they have no hair… To visit a coworker after they’ve lost a child… To sit with a parent after they’ve had a heart attack…
You guys, this is hard stuff. And often, it’s the primary caregiver who is there while so many others drift away. It’s too hard. It’s too uncomfortable.
And so we stay away.
And friends, when we stay away, we send the message that they don’t matter to us. That they aren’t worth our time. That we don’t care.
Is that the message you want to send?
I know, I know it’s hard. So what do we do about this one? What kind of action can we possibly take that will help us overcome this incredibly difficult hurdle?
Friends, we have to make a choice. We can choose to harden our hearts so that the suffering of others doesn’t bother us and we just go on our way. Or we can ask God to give us the strength to enter into the suffering with them, to endure, to go to the uncomfortable places, so that we can love them.
When I think about how Jesus responded to the suffering He saw… over and over again, He chooses to respond with compassion. Compassion is, in fact, one of the things proclaimed about God throughout Scripture: “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love” (Psalm 103:8 NLT; Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 145:8; Joel 2:13).
The Lord our God is compassionate.
And as our Bible verse for this challenge says, “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”
And compassionate, for Jesus, wasn’t just feeling sorry for the person who was hurting. Compassion always moved Him into action.
He fed the hungry.
He touched the leper.
He reached out to the widow.
What is it that compassion is calling you to do? Where is the uncomfortable place where you need to go?
God, I pray that You would give us the strength to love others with compassion, even when it is uncomfortable.
How are you guys doing? I know this is hard. But if you’re like me, it’s really resonating with you in the core of your being. And you want to change.
If God is calling you to dive deeper into this, if this Challenge has really connected with you and you want to learn more, I want to remind you that I have a Courageous Care Masterclass coming up that will allow us to explore what courageous care looks like. The type of care that doesn’t let fear get in the way, but that reaches out with courage and compassion.
This training is for the woman who is tired of living with regrets, when she doesn’t reach out after God nudges her to do so. This is for the woman who doesn’t want the questions and the fears to dictate what she does—and doesn’t do. This is for the woman who, like me, sees too many hurting people in the church getting missed and feels God nudging her to do something about it. This is for the woman who is ready to start taking action and caring for those in her neighborhood—her family, her friends, or those she leads or works with.
In the Masterclass, we are going to talk more about these top five obstacles and objections and what we can do to overcome them. We’re going to identify ways how God has designed each of us, specifically, to encourage, comfort, and care for others. We’re going to learn what we can do to practice hearing God’s voice so we can better sense those nudges from Him about when and how to reach out to our loved ones. And we’re going to talk about how to make sure our care is meaningful and actually helpful for our friend. Because this is about them, not us, right?
This is going to be about two hours long, and it’s going to be completely free, but it will be extremely limited in size so I can see you and talk with you in a safe and confidential space.
So if you are interested, you need to go right now to lovedoesthat.org/care and sign up for the waitlist.
We can do this, my friends. We can learn to reach out with courage and compassion. Because we’ve got God here to help us.
I’ll see you back you tomorrow for our last day of the Courageous Care Challenge.
- “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” (Psalm 103:8 NLT)
- “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:36 NLT)
- Episode 19: [Courageous Care Challenge] Day One: Uncertain
- Episode 20: [Courageous Care Challenge] Day Two: Unavailable
- Episode 21: [Courageous Care Challenge] Day Three: Unfamiliar