Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

You Should Care – You Really Should

on May 9, 2014

photo credit: rafa2010 via photopin cc

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18

That’s the problem with so many Christians today. We love in word and talk, but we don’t love in deed and in truth. We speak great works of affection, but we close our eyes to real opportunities to put that love into action. We say that we care, but our caring falls short of being willing to self-sacrifice in any way to meet a need. We consider ourselves to be loving, but we pass right by one who feels like she is drowning with troubles and heartbreak, and we don’t even stop to find out if there’s something we can do to minister to that hurting heart. That’s the problem. It’s a big one.

As I write this, I know there are many who do love in deed and truth. There are many who do sacrifice of themselves to serve others. There are many who do care when they see a brother or sister hurting and do strive to minister to the brokenhearted. There are some who do seek to understand the pain of others. Still, there are so many in church today that are completely oblivious to their hardened, self-focused hearts. I have been there myself at times. I too have neglected a friend in need of comfort because of time or inconvenience or whatever the reason. Even filled with conviction and shame, I pressed on about my business telling myself that someone else would have to be the one to help. How sad.

You should care – you really should.

If you’re a Christian, you should care about people. You should have a pulling in your heart to minister to those who are hurting. You should care about your family, friends, church body and the lost. You should care about the one that everyone else ignores. You should care about the one that may smile on the outside, but you know is suffering on the inside. You should care about their hardships, burdens, struggles and heartbreaks. Do you try to understand their pain? Do you ever just feel it with them? Ever sit with them and weep? Ever put yourself in their shoes?

You should care – you really should.

Why don’t you? You may not even be aware of your lack of love. There is ample opportunity in this world to get lost in distraction. You are busy. You have your own problems to deal with. You don’t really have time to give. You don’t really think it’s that important what that person is going through. There are so many excuses. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are making them. Sometimes we are just so blindingly self-focused and self-centered that we cannot manage to see beyond our own interests to settle our sights on that hurting person right in front of us. We are so focused on ourselves, we can’t possible see their pain. We should see it. We should care.

You should care – you really should.

Perhaps you don’t care because you don’t think their pain is valid enough for your standards. You don’t see it. You don’t get it. You don’t try to see beyond your own understanding and to really be able to relate to what another person is going through. So you don’t weep with those who weep. You don’t shed their tears with them.

“What’s the big deal? So she wants a baby but can’t have one? So what? She just needs to get on with it and get over it.” Stop. Try to understand the deep pain, longing and heartbreak that a woman feels when she struggles with infertility. In your mind, picture her crying herself to sleep. See the look of disappointment and heartache that crosses her face when she sees a newborn baby. You’ll never know what it feels like if you haven’t been through it yourself, but you can imagine the pain and suffering. You should care.

“What’s the big deal about her being alone for so long after her divorce? She should just learn to be content in her singleness.” Stop. Try to understand that this woman who has been divorced or widowed is lonely. Do you understand that kind of loneliness? Imagine the heartache that she feels being the only single person at the event or family party. Imagine how she yearns for the protection of a husband, or just the comfort of having someone hold her. Remember her pain and stop minimizing what she goes through. You should care.

“It’s their own fault that they’re going through money problems again. If they just tithed they would be better off. They made their bed; now they’ll have to sleep in it.” Stop. Your judgement and your condescension is not welcome, and it certainly is not loving. You’ve never made a bad choice in your life? Get off your high horse and start loving people. Try to imagine what it’s like to go through one financial struggle after another. Imagine years of unpaid bills, fear, worry and anxiety over every rent payment and car repair. See the tears that flow as they try to figure out how they will provide for their children. Feel their embarrassment as they wear shoes that are falling apart and as they collect food donations. Try to understand how hard it is. Try to feel their pain. You should care. You really should!

We love in word and talk. We say “I love you” to our family members and friends. We may offer up a prayer for the person who is struggling, or maybe not. The problem is, so often we are not loving in deed and truth. We are not putting love into action. When we don’t put love into action, it calls to question whether we really love or not. That’s where truth comes in. Do I love you? Do I care enough about you to take my eyes off myself for a minute and be there for you? Do I care enough to experience your burden and your pain with you? Do I care enough to sacrifice my own time, comfort and pleasure to help you? Do I? Do you?

It doesn’t take much to show a person in deed and truth that you really do love. A word of encouragement. An hour of your time. Meeting a need. Weeping with them. Acknowledging their pain. Understanding. It doesn’t take much, but it does take loving yourself less and loving others more.

We should care. Do you know why? Jesus cares!

When Jesus took those lashes, those beatings, that crown of thorns, He cared. When He stretched out His arms and took those nails, He cared. When He gave up His Spirit and died for our sins, He cared. When He rose from the dead into glory beyond comprehension, He cared. When He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort, guide, convict and help us, He cared deeply. Jesus LOVES in DEEd and TRUTH. He didn’t just say, “I love you.” He proved it in His death. That’s why you should care.

I’m tired of love talk. I’m tired of loving in word. It feels empty now. I’m tired of receiving love and giving love that way. Let us love in deed and in truth. I want to be the kind of person that makes this real in my life. Someday when I go to be with Jesus, I want people at my life celebration to remember me as a woman who loved in deed and truth. I ask the Lord to crucify my self-love and self-focus, and to help me to really love. Join me.

4 responses to “You Should Care – You Really Should

  1. While all the “what’s the big deal” statements are true, they are not kind. We are called to kindness. Which means when someone destroys their own life, we should not tell them that. Let God tell them and we should at least give an encouraging smile and an offer to help them do better in the future, should they decide to repent.

    • That’s exactly right sister. When people are hurting, denying their pain by assigning blame is not how we are called to minister to them. What good does it do? We have ALL fallen short of the glory of God. We have ALL made mistakes and sinned. We are called to love one another and to be there for each other. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. valeribarnes says:

    Love this Chelsea! Yes, we should care! And not just after they’ve repented and come to Jesus. What about before? What about when they’re lost? Yep, we’re not to reach out only to the church to walk through their troubles with them, but also the lost. Love our neighbors as ourselves did not refer to the church, but all our neighbors. The word for love there means charity. So while we will charity ourselves with a roof over our heads, three square meals, clothes, and kindness, we need to do the same for our neighbors. The lost and church alike. Amen! Love you!! Love this blog!

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