Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
I am so excited for you to join me today as we kick off the Courageous Care Challenge. This is going to be a power-packed week that can completely transform the way you reach out to your friends and neighbors and love them—really love them—when they are struggling or hurting.
And it all starts by recognizing what is getting in the way of reaching out in the first place.
Why is it that we can have someone who means so much to us, and we see that they are hurting, and we do nothing? Absolutely nothing? How is that possible?
It’s because we let fear and questions get in the way. We let them paralyze us into inaction. Sometimes these things truly are obstacles that we need to overcome, but sometimes, my friends, they are just excuses. Reasons we provide for not doing anything.
And that is not okay. Because you know what that means? It means someone might be going through their struggle on their own, without anyone to walk through it with them. It means someone might think that you don’t care about them. That they don’t matter.
And that is not okay. It’s not okay.
It doesn’t matter if they are dealing with the loss of a loved one, a job loss, depression, divorce, a diagnosis, a move… they need people who love them, who care for them, and who walk through it with them.
So let’s take an honest look at the obstacles and objections we use for not stepping out and taking action. Every day of this challenge, 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 then 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. Will you commit to that?
Today, day one, we are talking about the most common objection I hear to not reaching out, and that is uncertainty. What does that look like?
“I don’t know what to say.”
“I don’t know what to do.”
“I don’t know how to help her.”
We get so afraid of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing and we think that we’re going to make it worse if we mess up.
We think of all the silly things we’ve heard when we were the ones who were hurting, and we don’t want to be that person. The one who gives the cliché, the one who lightheartedly says it’s all going to be okay. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago, in episode 17.
What do we do when we’re uncertain? Nothing. We do absolutely nothing. We fade away into the background. We don’t call. We don’t text. We don’t show up at her house. We don’t go to the funeral. We don’t go to the hospital.
And our friend doesn’t see us being there for her. Because we’re not.
Let me give you an example. I had a friend who had cancer. And she didn’t really talk to me directly about it, but I knew she had it. And every time I passed her, I felt this nudge to check in with her, to see how she was doing.
But I just didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to start the conversation.
And so I just walked on by.
On the day when I finally got up my courage to ask her, I walked back to where I had seen her sitting and she was gone. I missed my chance.
Has that ever happened to you?
Friends, I don’t want us living in regret because we’re too afraid. I want us to break through the fear and do it anyway. I want us to live differently than all those around us. I don’t want us to walk by those who are hurting and ignore them. That’s what so many do today. I want us to notice and I want us to do something about it.
Why? Why is this so important for us as believers? Because God calls us to live in a way pours His love and compassion on those around us.
Our Bible verse for this series is Luke 6:36—“You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Write it down. Memorize it.
Jesus is our example in this. We see Him showing compassion in so many ways while He was here on earth. One example I want to share with you today comes from Matthew 14.
It says, “As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:13-14 NLT).
What news did Jesus just hear? That His cousin, John the Baptist, had been killed. Jesus went away to be alone. He was hurting. He was grieving. He needed some time. And the crowds just followed Him. He couldn’t get away.
And even in His own grief, Jesus had compassion on them. He healed their sick. He spent hours teaching them. And then He performed the miracle of feeding the 5,000.
What a compassionate Lord we follow.
“You must be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.”
My friends, we are letting fear get in the way of being compassionate and caring for those we see who are hurting.
So my challenge to you today is to just say something. Say “I’m so sorry.” Say “I can’t imagine what you are going through.” Say “This really stinks.” Or if there truly are no words, then just show up and sit beside them. Or give them a hug. Find some way to let your friend know you are there.
It is far better to say something and mess it up than to say nothing at all. Again, we talked about that in episode 17. Go back and listen to that.
This is just day one, my friends. We have four more obstacles to go. I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy week, but it’s going to be a powerful one.
Take our verse, Luke 6:36, and turn it into your prayer today. “God, show me what compassion looks like. Show me where I need to be compassionate today. Show me where I’m letting fear get in the way.”
And be sure to come back here tomorrow as we bring to light another obstacle.
And would you do me a favor? Invite a friend. Let them know about the Courageous Care Challenge and ask them to listen in with you. Invite your small group. Invite your ministry team. Invite your coworkers. Go through it together. Talk about it. Be honest with each other and find out where we are falling short in caring for one another.
I know it’s hard. But we’ve got to admit it, and we’ve got to name it, so we can move forward and do better.
I can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow. Until then…
- “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:36 NLT)
- “As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:13-14 NLT)